The government Wednesday decided to disburse Tk 660 million shortly to the fertiliser-importers out of the total outstanding subsidy worth Tk 970 million for the previous fiscal to end the fertiliser fiasco just ahead of the peak 'Boro' cultivation time.
It also decided to disburse other outstanding subsidy after getting required documents from the ministry concerned in this connection.
The decisions were taken at an inter-ministerial meeting held at the National Economic Council (NEC) auditorium.
Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman chaired the meeting while senior ministers including LGRD minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, agriculture minister MK Anwar, industries minister Motiur Rahman Nizami attended it.
Kafil Uddin Ahmed, President of Bangladesh Fertiliser Association (BFA) told the FE that the government's move would help a great deal to resolve the current fertiliser crisis.
"We are yet to receive any official copy on the meeting and we will sit tonight (Wednesday) to review our position following the government's latest decision on releasing subsidy", Kafil Uddin said.
"The importers show different prices ranging between US$ 160 and $216 while importing the same fertiliser," Saifur told newsmen, adding that the committee concerned would examine different rates of the same fertiliser. Based on the committee report, 25 per cent subsidy will be approved, he reiterated.
Casting doubt over the amount of Tk 970 million in subsidy as demanded by the striking BFA, Saifur said: "Textile millers had claimed Tk 20 billion subsidy, but, after scrutiny, we calculated it only Tk 6.0 billion … so the rest fertiliser subsidy will be released only after scrutiny."
Rahman said that the government would also import non-urea fertilisers like Tripple Super Phosphate, Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) through Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) along with private importers.
"We don't want to do anything exclusively in this regard. But since the BADC and BCIC are involved in importing Urea fertiliser, we will allow the two organisations to sell out fertiliser at subsidised prices," he told the journalists.