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8 defunct urea PSUs to be restarted: Paswan

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The Minister for Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, with the Fertiliser Secretary, Mr Madhukar Gupta, in the Capital on Thursday. - Kamal Narang
The Minister for Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, with the Fertiliser Secretary, Mr Madhukar Gupta, in the Capital on Thursday. - Kamal Narang

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Dec. 15

THE Government will re-operationalise eight urea producing units in the public sector lying defunct in various parts of the country and go in for joint ventures in foreign countries for meeting the growing demand for urea, the Minister for Fertilisers, Chemicals and Steel, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, told newspersons here on Thursday.

"We have decided to restart eight naphtha-based urea plants in five States Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal. These plants would eventually be converted to gas-based during the course of time," he said.

The Minister said that GAIL (India) Ltd and ONGC have already been requested to make available the required amount of gas for the proposed expansion plans.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has taken a serious stand on non-submission of utilisation certificate for concession schemes for phosphatic fertilisers.

To streamline the functioning of concession schemes, the Ministry has introduced a new import-production cost-parity scheme for defraying subsidy on the decontrolled di-ammonium phosphates and muriate of potash.

Mr Paswan said that the new scheme would be put on the Web site to help the industry chalk out a long-term strategy for manufacturing phosphatic fertilisers, of which, imported phosphoric acid and phosphoric rock are the main raw materials.

In order to have assured supply of urea, Mr Paswan said that the Government was trying to go for more joint ventures to compensate losses being incurred due to fluctuations in urea prices in the international market.

"While urea per tonne costs $300 in the US market, we are availing the same at $150 from the Oman India Fertilizer Company.

"Since it is beneficial from the point of view of cost of production, we will go for more joint ventures," he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 16, 2005)
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