Production of urea and phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilizers had been suspended by more than four companies, and the shortfall has been met by imports. The prolonged scenario has motivated a section of the fertilizer industry, who have been affected by measures undertaken by the previous government, has urged the Prime Minister to look into their problem. They claimed that the intervention will help revive the industry as well as help prevent imports.
According to the fertilizer industry officials, “The previous regime cut off gas supply to non-urea manufacturer Deepak Fertilizers, which has shut down its three lakh-tonne capacity since May. Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers and Gujarat State Fertilizers Corporation may go the same way if the gas supply is stopped to them.”
Other units which have been affected by the previous regime’s legacy are Madras Fertilizers, Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore, Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers and Southern Petrochemicals Corporation. These units used naphtha as feedstock.
It is believed that the suspension of production in these units has incurred a loss of more than 15 lakh tonnes of fertilizers. This led the country to rely on international manufacturers. Since we already have the capacity, why not utilise it to achieve food security and even exporting to other countries,” argued the officials.
It may be recalled that the Prime Minister asked steps to be taken for immediate revival of the Fertilizers And Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT). The Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar and the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan held a meeting with Members of Parliament from all the parties from Kerala in the Parliament House to discuss all related issues.