Fertilizer distribution streamlined
The government has streamlined the distribution of fertilizer to all
crops, including paddy, enabling the cultivators to buy whatever
fertilizer they need on subsidized rates without any restriction on the
quantum, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. The
Minister was addressing the heads of government media and senior public
This meeting was attended by Media and Information Minister Keheliya
Rambukwella and Youth Affairs Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. He said, the
government is spending Rs 50,000 million on fertilizer subsidy per year
to promote food production and to enable the farmers to earn a
reasonable income while protecting the needs of the consumer.
The government has done away with the system issuing permits for the
purchase of fertilizer. Whoever wants to purchase fertilizer they could
either purchase from the government or the private sector fertilizer
outlets, the Minister said.
Minister Rajapaksa further said that, earlier the fertilizer subsidy
was enjoyed by only a small segment of land holders, however now this is
extended to everybody so that they can purchase whatever quantum of
fertilizer they need over the counter.
A 50 kg bag of fertilizer is sold to the cultivator at Rs 350. This
is valued at Rs 3,500 in the open market. In this manner the paddy
cultivator only pays 10 percent of the total value of fertilizer, while
the government subsidizes 90 percent of the total value.
Sri Lanka is the only country in the world which is giving the
fertilizer subsidy for the farmers continuously for six years in other
words for 12 paddy cultivation seasons. The government also gives a 65
percent subsidy on the fertilizer of other food grain cultivation
including vegetable cultivation.
The open market value of 50 kgs of MOP fertilizer is Rs 3,500.
Government sells this to the cultivator at Rs 1,200 and pays the balance
of Rs 2,300 to the companies which sell fertilizer and provide subsidy
to protect the local farmer.
The open market value of 50 kgs of urea fertilizer is Rs 3,000, the
government sells this to the cultivator at Rs 1,200 and pays the balance
of Rs 1,800 to the companies which sell fertilizer and provide subsidy
to protect the local farmer.
There is another fertilizer known as the mixed fertilizer which is a
blend of urea and MOP fertilizer which is sold in the open market for Rs
3,200 but sold to the farmer at a subsidized rate of Rs 1,300 per 50 kg
According to a senior officer of the Coconut Development Ministry
there can be 64 coconut trees in a one acre plot of land and each tree
needs one kilo each of urea fertilizer, MOP fertilizer, ERP fertilizer
and dolomite fertilizer per year. ERP and dolomite fertilizer are sold
in the open market at a very reduced price.
Government continues to impose an import levy on potato and onions
when the cultivation season is on for these two crops to protect the
local potato and onion cultivators. Due to these steps local cultivators
are protected and their produce sold at a lower price than the imported
potatoes and onions.
Rajapaksa further said that, the government instead of getting
bouquets is now getting brick bats from the opposition parties who are
spreading untruths that the private sector pension scheme will take away
the rights of private sector employees.
He said that the government had not succeeded in informing the
private sector employee, because we have failed to gear our awareness
The Minister said that, the private sector pension scheme will not
take away the rights of the employees to benefit from EPF, ETF and
gratuity. He said that while enjoying these three benefits the private
sector employees after completing ten years of service after joining
pension scheme will be entitled to the private sector pension benefits.
The Minister also said that if an employee is unable to complete ten
years of service after joining the pension scheme the necessary
amendments will be introduced to this Act to enable them also to benefit
from the private sector pension scheme. The Minister said that, the
government will take immediate action to implement and awareness
programme on the benefits of the private sector pension scheme.