Friday, June 24, 2022

Adequate urea stocks in country; no need to import till December: Mandaviya

India has sufficient stocks of urea to meet crop nutrient requirements during the kharif as well as rabi seasons and there is no need for imports till December

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New Delhi: India has sufficient stocks of urea to meet crop nutrient requirements during the kharif as well as rabi seasons and there is no need for imports till December, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday. The minister said the prices of fertilisers have dropped in the international market and hoped that rates would further decline in the next six months.

“There is adequate availability of urea in the country. We have urea stocks to meet domestic requirements till December. We do not need to import till December,” Mandaviya told reporters.

The minister said the government has already imported 16 lakh tonnes of urea, which will be shipped in the next 45 days.

In the case of Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP), Mandaviya said the domestic production along with the long-term import arrangements would be sufficient to meet the local demand till December.

The minister asserted that the government has decided to protect farmers’ interest and has increased subsidy to ensure the availability of fertilisers at reasonable rates.

The kharif (summer-sown) season has already started while the sowing of rabi crops begins in October.

According to a senior fertiliser ministry official, the state governments currently have stocks of 70 lakh tonnes of urea, while 16 lakh tonnes of urea is being imported and 175 lakh tonnes of urea will be produced till December.

Moreover, the official said that 6 lakh tonnes of urea will be available from two new plants at Barauni and Sindri, which will be operational in October and another 20 lakh tonnes of conventional urea consumption will be replaced by liquid nano urea.

The total availability of urea is estimated at 287 lakh tonnes during June and December, while the demand is seen at 210 lakh tonnes, the official said.

India’s urea imports declined to around 77 lakh tonnes in the last fiscal year from 98 lakh tonnes in the 2020-21 financial year, the official said, adding that the imports might further come down to around 60 lakh tonnes in the current fiscal.

So far this fiscal, around 15 lakh tonnes urea has been imported and another 16 lakh tonnes will come in the next one and a half month.

The government has also entered into a long-term arrangement with Jordan.

Asked about the fertiliser subsidy, the official said that it would be around Rs 2.25 lakh crore.

The total fertilisers subsidy stood at Rs 1,62,132 crore in the 2021-22 fiscal year and at Rs 71,280 crore in 2013-14.

At present, urea is available at a highly subsidised price of Rs 266 for a 45 kg bag while DAP is sold at Rs 1,350 for a 50 kg bag.

The government is making available fertilisers, namely urea and 25 grades of P&K fertilisers to farmers at subsidised prices through fertiliser manufacturers/importers.

Under the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme, which is being implemented since April 2010, a fixed rate of subsidy (in Rs per kg basis) is announced for nutrients namely Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), Potash (K) and Sulphur (S) by the government on an annual basis.

The subsidy rates per kg for the nutrients N, P, K, and S are converted into per tonne subsidies on the various P&K fertilisers covered under the NBS.

In the case of urea, the Centre fixes the maximum retail prices and reimburses the difference between the maximum retail price and production cost in the form of a subsidy.

(With PTI inputs)

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