Cabinet approves fertiliser subsidy from Yala season

Friday, 10 January 2020 00:23 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



  • Govt. says fertiliser shortage due to previous administration failing to pay importers 
  • About Rs. 6.9 b owed and Rs. 3 b settled by new Govt. 
  • Taking measures to resolve shortfall to increase imports 

Cabinet has approved rolling out the fertiliser subsidy from the Yala season in 2020 with the Government assuring it will take steps to address the current fertiliser shortage. 

Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that the Government was also taking steps to address the existing fertiliser shortage in the country.

“When Agriculture Minister Chamal Rajapaksa was presenting this Cabinet paper, he explained that under the former Government, fertiliser importers were not paid properly. The Government owes about Rs. 6.9 billion to fertiliser importers, and as a result, they are unable to import fertiliser as necessary,” he said. 

After the Elections, the new Government had paid about Rs. 3 billion to fertiliser imports from funds approved under the Vote on Account (VoA), but the balance of the payments still needs to be met. As a result, the Government can only implement the fertiliser subsidy from the Yala season. Typically the Government allocates about Rs. 15 billion annually for the fertiliser subsidy.  

“Various accesses has been presented for strongly uplift local paddy farmer through the new government policy statement, the ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’. It has been planned to implement a program of providing chemical and organic fertiliser free of charge required for paddy farmers instead of the fertiliser subsidiary scheme implemented at present under this,” the statement handed out at the Cabinet briefing said. 

Accordingly, the Cabinet memorandum submitted by the Minister of Mahaweli, Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development for the preparation and implementation of a program to enable providing sufficient recommended portions of the three fertiliser categories – namely Urea, triple super phosphate (T.S.P), and muriate of potash (M.O.P). These will be given to farmers who have up to two hectares maximum cultivating paddy from the Yala season of 2020, which is approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.