Indian fertilizer minister Alagiri resigns

20 March 2013 15:56  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Indian fertilizer minister MK Alagiri submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday, following his political party’s decision to exit the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-led government, according to Indian media reports.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party, or DMK as it is popularly known, had five ministers in the Indian government.

All five have resigned in protest against the Indian government's position on Sri Lanka at the United Nation's Human Rights Council session in Geneva, which they have said is not strong enough. The session is focused on war crimes committed against Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka.

The DMK is a political party in the state of Tamil Nadu, which has a large Tamil population.

Alagiri’s resignation could further delay the announcement of subsidy cuts for phosphates and potash fertilizers. An announcement on whether the maximum retail price of urea will be increased from its present Indian rupee (Rs) 5,360/tonne ($99/tonne, €76/tonne) level has also been expected.

The subsidy on diammonium phosphate (DAP) is expected to be cut by Rs2,000/tonne, while that on muriate of potash (MOP) is expected to be cut by Rs700/tonne - although some expect a cut of Rs2,000/tonne. The government currently provides a subsidy of Rs14,350/tonne on DAP and Rs14,440/tonne on MOP.

In the new budget for the year starting 1 April 2013, fertilizer subsidy was pegged at Rs659.72bn, largely unchanged from last year's revised estimate of Rs659.74bn.

(€1 = Rs69.99, $1 = €0.78)

By: Deepika Thapliyal
+44 208 652 3214

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