Agri Business

Bharat urea: Govt’s plan to sell under one brand may take time to roll out

Prabhudutta Mishra | | Updated on: Mar 17, 2022
Palakkad, Kerala, 08/12/2019: A Farm worker sprinkling fertilizer at a paddy field at Kodumbu near Palakkad on December 08, 2019. In a move to tide over the shortage in paddy seeds, which were aged in bulk during the back-to -back floods in the state, Kerala State Seed Development Authority (KSSDA) officials have initiated steps to procure more seeds from Palakkad.  However, as late rain and heavy monsoon during the harvest season immensely brought down the quantity of seeds in Palakkad, the authorities may have to depend on neighbouring states or the National Seed Corporation (NSC).  Annually, require around 8,000 tonnes of paddy seeds in the state, but the heavy rain in the region prevented the farmers in Palakkad from drying the seeds. Hence, this year we expect to procure only around 1,200 tonnes. Photo: K. K. Mustafah.

Palakkad, Kerala, 08/12/2019: A Farm worker sprinkling fertilizer at a paddy field at Kodumbu near Palakkad on December 08, 2019. In a move to tide over the shortage in paddy seeds, which were aged in bulk during the back-to -back floods in the state, Kerala State Seed Development Authority (KSSDA) officials have initiated steps to procure more seeds from Palakkad. However, as late rain and heavy monsoon during the harvest season immensely brought down the quantity of seeds in Palakkad, the authorities may have to depend on neighbouring states or the National Seed Corporation (NSC). Annually, require around 8,000 tonnes of paddy seeds in the state, but the heavy rain in the region prevented the farmers in Palakkad from drying the seeds. Hence, this year we expect to procure only around 1,200 tonnes. Photo: K. K. Mustafah. | Photo Credit: MUSTAFAH KK

Such a step has to be legally examined, say experts

The Centre’s plan to sell urea, in which the government bear about 90 per cent subsidy, under one brand across the country may take longer as several issues have come up in a three-day brain storming session the Fertiliser Ministry held with stake holders. Last month, the ministry had floated a concept note to launch “One Nation, One Fertiliser” by asking companies to sell under Bharat Urea.

In the Chintan Shivir, ended on Sunday, it was pointed out by experts that such a step has to be legally examined as under what provision the government can direct company to use one brand name, though companies were ready to accept the decision, highly placed sources who were part of the deliberation said.

Besides, how would the government handle the adverse impact on the brand if there were bad quality nutrients, experts pointed out.

Cabinet nod needed

It was also acknowledged that such a decision needed Cabinet approval and it might not be possible to implement from ensuing kharif season as companies need time to print it on the bags in advance. The kharif sowing starts from June with the onset of monsoon and farmers purchase urea in advance.

“The subsidy for new urea manufacturing plants has been calculated on the delivered gas cost price wherein assured return of 12 per cent post tax return on equity for 8 years from date of starting of commercial production under New Investment Policy-2012 and its amendment has been protected,” an official said.

He further said the need for one brand was felt as the government observed that since companies get the freight subsidy from government, they don’t hesitate for criss-cross movement of fertilisers for longer distance. Also brand-wise demand of fertilisers in the specific areas by the farmers is one of the reasons of criss-cross movement, he added. For instance companies of Rajasthan were selling in Uttar Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh-based plants were selling in Rajasthan.

Published on March 13, 2022

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