New Delhi (ABC Live): Subsidized Urea : Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today, informed that during last year, there were no reports of alleged diversion & smuggling of subsidized urea for non-agricultural purposes. Also, the Minister stated that in the current year, no report of diversion & smuggling has been received from any State Government.
Shri Mandaviya informed the House that the Government has declared fertilizer as an essential commodity under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955(ECA) and notified Fertilizer (Control) Order (FCO), 1985 & Fertilizer (Movement Control) Order, 1973 under the EC Act. State Governments have been adequately empowered to ensure selling of fertilizers at MRP besides stopping smuggling and diversion of fertilizers. State Governments are empowered to conduct search, make seizures and take punitive action against any person violating provisions of FCO, 1985 and Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
The State Governments have been empowered to take appropriate action to curb diversion of fertilizers and initiate action against the persons who violate these orders. Department of Fertilizers has, from time to time, written to the Chief Secretaries of various States and Ministry of Home Affairs to activate the enforcement agencies under their jurisdiction to take appropriate action to curb diversion, Shri Mandaviya added.
Department of Fertilizers ensures availability of all fertilizers at State level as per requirement projected by DAC&FW in consultation with States/ UTs for each season and distribution within the States is the responsibility of the concerned State Governments. The availability is monitored regularly at various levels and there is no shortage of any fertilizer.
Further, Shri Mandaviya detailed the following steps that are being taken to check black-marketing/ smuggling/ diversion of fertilizers meant for farmers:
- The movement of all major subsidized fertilizers is being monitored throughout the country by an on-line web based monitoring system (www.urvarak.co.in) also called as Integrated Fertilizer Monitoring System (iFMS);
- The State Governments have been advised to sensitize the State Institutional Agencies to coordinate with manufacturers and importers of fertilizers for streamlining the supplies;
- Department of Fertilizers and Department of Agriculture & Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) are jointly reviewing fertilizer availability with State Agriculture department through Video Conferences every week. The corrective actions, if required, are taken immediately to avoid any hardships to farmers;
- Fertilizer companies are required to print Maximum Retail Price (MRP) on the fertilizer bags clearly. Any sale above the printed MRP is punishable under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955;
- State Governments as enforcement agencies are adequately empowered to check the irregularities.
In a separate reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Shri Mandaviya informed that Government has planned for National Roll Out of DBT for fertilizer subsidies by the end of current financial year. All the preparations for launch of DBT at National level including deployment of PoS machines are in progress as per National Roll Out Action Plan, the Minister added.