MCF union protests Govt move on naphtha-based plants

Our Bureau Mangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 07, 2014

The employees of Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizer (MCF) Ltd staged a protest march in Mangalore on Tuesday against the Central Government’s order to discontinue subsidies to naphtha-based fertiliser manufacturers with effect from October 1.

Following the order, the company has stopped operations at its urea plant in Mangalore from October 1.

(The Central Government had asked the naptha-based urea manufacturing units to switch over to gas as the feedstock before September 30. The Government had stated that those who continue with naptha for production of ammonia and urea would not be eligible for subsidy after that.)

KN Suryanarayana, president of MCF Mangala Workers’ Union, told BusinessLine that there is no response from the government even a week after operations were stopped at the plant.

Employees, farmers hit

When the employees approached the management, they were told that the company would incur a loss of ₹5 crore a day if it continued to run the plant on naphtha, he said. The closure of operations will affect the livelihoods and families of around 2,000 employees of the company, he said.

Stating that many farmers in the southern States use ‘Mangala’ brand of fertilisers made by the company, he said the closure of operations will also have an impact on fertiliser supplies. Suryanarayana said that MCF meets around 7-8 per cent of the fertiliser requirements in the domestic market.

Urging the Government to ensure the supply of natural gas to the fertiliser plant in Mangalore, he said the Mangalore plant is capable of producing fertiliser with natural gas as the feedstock.

On the future plan of action, he said the union has submitted a memorandum to all concerned on the need to operate the plant in Mangalore. The employees will wait for a week before initiating further action.

If the employees fail to get any positive response, the union, along with the representatives from the farming community, will hold a protest at Freedom Park in Bangalore in the coming days, he said.

Published on October 07, 2014
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