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‘Fertiliser Flying Squad’ for surprise inspections

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Fertiliser Flying Squad for surprise inspections

  • Recently, the Department of Fertilizers has appointed a special officer named ‘Fertilizers Flying Squad’.
  • This officer will check and inspect the diversion of fertilizers, black marketing and supply of substandard fertilizers to the farmers.
  • Banning diversion of urea towards industries is likely to save subsidy of Rs 6,000
  • According to an estimate, about one million tons of agro-grade urea is diverted for industrial use every year.
  • Agriculture-grade urea has neem-coating to prevent leakage. However, the neem-coating is removed by some chemical processes. Urea is then used for industrial purposes.

Reasons for diversion:

  • The huge price difference between fertilizers for agricultural and non-agricultural purposes: because of this it is diverted for use in plywood, resin, ceramics, molding powder, animal feed, dairy and industrial mining explosives.
  • Demand-supply gap: Industries require more than one million tons, but they import only 200,000
  • Large quantities of urea are illegally exported to neighboring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh.

Urea and subsidy

  • It is a white crystal-like solid nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
  • It is the only fertilizer whose price and supply are legally controlled by the government.
  • The central government bears the subsidy burden of over Rs 2,700 per bag.

Source – The Hindu

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