Kribhco Chairman Chandra Pal Singh Yadav wants a more mature handling of the DBT scheme being attempted to by the Central govt in the fertilizer sector. The present arrangement is adding to chaos than to order, said Yadav to Indian Cooperative.
It bears recall that DBT scheme could be implemented only if all the retail points are equipped with PoS devices.
“We welcome DBT in fertilizer and in fact want the govt to directly transfer it to farmers but so is not the case as of now”, he added. He specially listed the woes that appeared in the rural areas in the wake of PoS machines in selling fertilizer.
Fertilizer companies-be it Kribhco or IFFCO or any other companies have to furnish the receipts from PoS to claim subsidy. But PoS machine is woeful idea when it comes to rural areas where connectivity is a major issue yet, explained Chandra Pal.
“Very often you would discover that farmers are waiting at the centres as there is no network and thus the machine cannot operate”, stated Yadav.
And even when they do, it takes at least 5-7 minutes to tackle a customer through the PoS machine- a time consuming affair compared to traditional method. This delay in serving one customer leads to huge congregation of farmers at the shop, said many others connected with selling urea in the countryside.
Besides, more often than note there are media headlines screaming ”Non-supply of PoS delays DBT such and such areas.” One of the news item recently mentioned that the delay in supply of PoS devices to retailers has compelled Odisha govt to postpone its DBT by a month.
The DBT scheme is being introduced to ensure transparency in the sale of fertilizers as the Centre has been giving subsidy of Rs 70,000 crore annually towards fertilizers. There are often media reports of huge backlog of subsidy not being paid to fertilizer cooperatives.
The matter was such a bane for the industry that while addressing the 53rd Annual function of Fertilizer Association of India (FAI) last December Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar said the remaining backlog of fertilizer subsidy to the tune of Rs 23 thousand crore would be cleared by March, before the onset of DBT across India.
His words were “Don’t clap for me yet”, he said to an enthusiastic gathering. “When I took over there was a backlog of Rs 44,000 and I assure you that I would personally meet the Finance Minister and related officials to ensure that the arrears are cleared before an new era of DBT slated from April 1,2018 is launched”, Kumar underlined.
The industry continues to wait for the settlement of its dues.