Govt cancels licences of 112 fertiliser units, files 30 FIRs

In a move aimed at reducing the conversion of subsidized fertilizers for industrial uses and ensuring quality, the center said on Tuesday that the licenses of 112 manufacturing units were revoked for violating standards and 30 primary information zones were registered after raids conducted in more than 370 factories over the past. six months.

In a statement, the Ministry of Fertilizers said that out of the 370 units located in 15 states, the inspection was carried out in 220 mixture fertilizer units, 130 urea units, 15 SSP fertilizer units and 5 exporters. It added that the maximum number of fertilizer units was checked in Gujarat (92), followed by Kerala (54), Tamil Nadu (40) and Karnataka (39).

Conversion of urea

There is a fertilizer crisis in the world. In such a case, a 45 kg bag of urea costing about $2,500 is sold to farmers at Rs. 266. “Strict action will be taken against those involved in the diversion, whether they are distributors, users or outlets,” said Mansukh Mandavia, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

Although 268 samples were taken from these units, the result of 59 samples is pending. However, 89 samples were found to contain substandard urea. Mandaviya said 112 licenses were revoked as urea diversion was found in 120 units out of the 130 plants examined.

After spot checks, 30 urea diversion IDIs were registered and 70,000 bags of suspected urea were seized (from Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana, Rajasthan and Karnataka (excluding GSTN seizure). Out of these, 26,199 bags were disposed of as per guidelines. Fertilizer Control Order (FCO), the ministry said.

The central team also inspected three border areas (Araria, Purnia, West Champaran) in Bihar and 3 FIRs were filed against urea diversion units while the licenses of ten units in the border areas were revoked.

Of the 268 samples tested, 89 were declared substandard and 120 were found with neem oil content. “For the first time, 11 people have been jailed under the Prevention of Internet Marketing and Supply Maintenance (PBM) Act for leaking urea and its black marketing last year,” the ministry said.

Seeding deficiency

Besides agriculture, urea is also used in many other industries as well, such as UF resin/glue, plywood, resin, clay pots, molding powder, livestock feed, dairy products, and industrial mining explosives. The ministry said any illegal diversion of this highly subsidized urea destined for farmers and cultivation for non-agricultural/industrial purposes by several private entities leads to urea deficiency in the sowing period.

“Strict vigil is now being conducted to ensure the quality of the products as well as the licenses. Because of these tireless efforts, there has been an increase in the demand for technical grade urea. Due to the lack of licenses issued by the countries for the manufacture of mixtures, many of the existing mixture manufacturing units have shifted to selling organic fertilizers and vitality, which promotes natural farming to reduce the consumption of chemical fertilizers.