New Delhi: The Union Cabinet today approved a new urea policy that aims to make the country self-sufficient in production in the next four years and ensure timely supply of the soil nutrient to farmers.
India produces about 22 million tonnes (MT) of urea annually. At present, it imports about 8 MT of the fertiliser to meet the annual domestic demand.
“The Cabinet has approved a comprehensive new urea policy for the next four years aimed at timely supply of urea to farmers and rationalise subsidy burden,” Press Information Bureau (PIB) Director General Frank Noronha said in a tweet after the Cabinet meeting held here.
The New Urea Policy 2015 has twin objectives: maximising urea production and promoting energy efficiency in urea units, he said in his tweet.
The policy outlines measures for boosting urea production by making plants more energy efficient and pooling of gas supplied to urea facilities, among others, sources said.
Noronha also said the Cabinet has approved fixed subsidy rate for phosphatic and potassic fertlisers for 2015-16. “This will help companies overcome liquidity problems,” he added.
Urea, which is under government control, is sold at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 5,360 per tonne. The difference between the maximum retail price (MRP) and the cost of production is reimbursed to manufacturers as subsidy by the central government.
While presenting the current NDA government’s first Budget in July 2014, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that the government would formulate a new urea policy.
The Centre has already taken steps to boost domestic production of urea by forming joint ventures for revival of two closed fertiliser plants at Talcher and Ramamgundam while the Cabinet approval has come for revival of two other plants.
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