Agriculture Current Affair 22 February 2022

Centre proposes law to control distribution, price, quality of fertilisers

Fixing maximum selling price

The Centre has proposed a law that empowers it to fix the maximum selling price of fertilisers and control its quality as well as distribution. The Department of Fertilizers has sought comments from all stakeholders on the draft Integrated Plant Nutrition Management Bill, 2022, by February 26.

Controlling distribution
It also seeks to establish an ‘Integrated Plant Nutrition Management Authority of India’.
“It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that the Union should take under its control the distribution, price and quality of standards of fertilisers,” said the draft document posted on the department’s website.

Sustainable use
The proposed law is aimed at promoting the development and sustainable use of balanced fertilisers, including bio-fertilisers, bio-stimulates, nano-fertilisers and organic fertilisers.
It seeks to simplify the process for the manufacture, production, distribution and price management of fertilisers in India, which will, in turn, improve the ease of doing business.

Regulating distribution
“The Central Government may, with a view to regulating the equitable distribution of fertilisers and making fertilisers available at fair prices, by notification in the Official Gazette, fix the maximum prices or rates at which any fertiliser may be sold by a dealer, manufacturer, importer or a fertiliser marketing entity,” the draft stated.

​Empowering Centre
It also aims to empower the Centre to fix different prices or rates for fertilisers having different periods of storage or for different areas or for different classes of consumers.
“No dealer, manufacturer importer or fertiliser marketing entity shall sell or offer for sale any fertiliser at a price exceeding the maximum price,” the draft said.

Government releases buffer stock of onion to states to check price rise

To check any sharp jump in retail onion prices, the Centre on Friday said it has started offloading the buffer stock in a calibrated and targeted manner to states where prices are increasing over the previous months.

The buffer stock is being released even in Lasalgaon and Pimpalgaon wholesale mandis of onion in Maharashtra to augment the supply in these markets, the Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the states had been offered onion at Rs 21/kg ex-storage locations. The Mother Dairy’s Safal outlets had also been supplied at Rs 26/kg inclusive of transportation cost, it said.

Tax on Agriculture: GST applicable on seeds used in agriculture say two tax rulings

The Telangana Authority of Advance Ruling (AAR) has said in two rulings that seeds are not “agricultural produce” and should attract goods and services tax (GST), a development that could create complications for the agriculture sector in the future.

In both the rulings, the AAR said that “seed” is treated separately from “grain”.

The law applicable to grain and seed will be different and therefore concessions applicable to grain produced by a cultivator will not be applicable to seed, said the rulings of February 11.

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