The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for per Kilogram rates of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) for various Nutrients that is Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potash (K) and Sulphur (S) for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers for Rabi Season – 2022-23.
About NBS Scheme
In order to promote balanced fertilization of soil, Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) programme for fertilizer was initiated in the year 2010. Under the scheme, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers based on its nutrient content.
The scheme aims at ensuring balanced nutrient application to the soil.
It also aims at improving agricultural productivity and promoting the growth of the indigenous fertilizers industry.
The scheme is being implemented by the Department of Fertilizers under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
Crops require the right mix of three nutrients viz. nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium or NPK (N helps in plant growth and development, P not only accelerates blooming and the growth of roots but also helps plants to withstand stress and K helps the process of photosynthesis and is essential to plant growth).
Imbalanced use of N, P and K leads to the loss of fertility of the soil over a period of time, which affects efficiency of fertilizer use and crop productivity.
In India, urea (a nitrogen based fertilizer) is the most commonly used fertilizer because it is highly subsidised. The excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers has led to a distortion in the soil nutrient ratio. Against the ideal NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) consumption ratio of 4:2:1, the actual ratio in 2017-18 was 6.1:2.5:1.
Indiscriminate use of nitrogenous fertilizers is detrimental to the soil and the crop.
It also pollutes the groundwater. The nitrogen from fertilizers, which is converted to nitrate by the bacteria in the soil, leaches into the groundwater and washes out of the soil surface, entering streams and rivers.