Mumbai: Fertilisers Association of India (FAI) on Tuesday demanded allocation of domestic natural gas to make fertilisers without any distinction of products. "There is a need for allocation of domestic gas for production of fertilisers without any distinction of products, because there is no distinction between urea and complex fertilisers for application of nitrogen to increase agriculture productivity," FAI said in a release.
Government had taken cognisance of reasonability of allocation of gas to NP/NPK (nitrogen phosphate/nitrogen phosphate potassic) plants and had allocated gas to the complex fertiliser plants. However, there seems to be rethinking on the issue to single out complex fertilisers and not to encourage domestic production of these products, FAI said.
"Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) had allocated natural gas to fertiliser plants. This allocation also includes allocation for fertiliser plants producing phosphatic and potassic fertilisers. "In violation of the EGoM's decision, the Department of Fertilisers stopped the supply of gas to a fertiliser manufacturer. We have been representing all along that use of complex fertilisers is very important in the interest of balanced fertilisation," FAI Director General Satish Chander said.
The government has been insisting that all fertilizer companies should switch over to gas from other liquid fuels so that fertilisers are available at competitive prices. However, the proposal to withdraw of allocation of gas to the fertiliser sector would push it to switch to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and disturb the equilibrium between domestic production and imports to fulfill the country's large requirement, FAI said.
India imported 1.3 million tonnes of ammonia in 2012-13, despite poor capacity utilisation of 61 per cent of complex fertiliser plants. Not providing domestic natural gas to the fertilizer sector would be contrary to efforts to reduce dependence on imported raw materials and fertiliser products, the FAI said.