Fertilizers Flying Squad:
Department of fertilizers has instituted a dedicated officer known as a ‘fertilizer flying squad’ to check any diversion, black marketing or adulteration of fertilizers.
- About 10 lakh tonnes (the worth around 6000 cr) of agriculture-grade urea (despite the need for coating) is getting diverted for industrial use every year.
- The subsidized urea is getting diverted mainly to industries.
- The agriculture-grade urea is neem-coated while technical-grade urea is not.
- The neem-coating is removed through some chemical process and then the urea is used for industrial purposes
- India’s annual domestic demand for urea is around 350 lakh tonnes, of which 260 lakh tonnes are locally produced while the remaining is imported.
- The government’s annual fertiliser subsidy bill is likely to be around Rs 2.5 lakh crore during this fiscal because of high international prices.
- There is an annual requirement of around 13-14 lakh tonnes of technical-grade urea for industrial usage, of which only 1.5 lakh tonnes are produced in the country.
- Urea is used in various industries such as resin/glue, plywood, crockery, moulding powder, cattle feed, dairy and industrial mining explosives.