Under the direction of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the government has now formed a new group of ministers (GoM) to discuss and deliberate the much delayed pricing policy for urea. The committee is likely to be chaired by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, finance minister P Chidambaram and oil minister Verappa Moily. CNBC-TV18's Ronojoy Banerjee reports.
Last June, the cabinet considered the new pricing policy for urea and at then it was deferred owing to the specific proposal which said that urea prices should be increased by 10 percent.
Then it was decided that a group of ministers GoM should be formed. The reality is that the GoM was never formed because of which the fertilizer ministry had to move a revised cabinet note, but in the revised cabinet note the fertilizer ministry had dropped the contentious urea price hike proposal and finance ministry had also raised objections to that. Even the PMO had raised objections.
Only last week, the prime minister directed the government to form a new GoM. It will be headed by Sharad Pawar. So far no date has been fixed for that. The fertilizer ministry is working on the minutes that will be put before the GoM. One needs to wait for what the GoM decides, but it will be interesting because it is being headed by Pawar who in the past had opposed urea price hike. It will also have finance minister P Chidambaram who will ask the GoM and other ministers to take a more positive view on the urea price hike proposal.
This is not just a urea price hike proposal, there are also other initiatives that the scheme talks about including incentivising non-gas based urea plants to gas based.