All subsidised fertilisers to be sold under single brand Bharat from October

All subsidised fertilisers, including urea and DAP, will be sold under the single brand ‘Bharat’ from October. This move is aimed at ensuring timely availability of soil nutrients to farmers and reducing the freight subsidy. 

Announcing the new initiative ‘One Nation, One Fertiliser’ under the fertiliser subsidy scheme, Pradhanmantri Bhartiya Janurvarak Pariyojna (PMBJP),  Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the companies were allowed to display their name, brand, logo and other relevant product information only on one-third space of their bags.

On the remaining two-thirds space, he said that the “Bharat” brand and PMBJP logo will have to be shown. The companies have been given time till the year-end to clear their old stock. 

In the last financial year, the Central government had incurred a fertiliser subsidy bill of Rs 1.62 lakh crore. In view of a sharp rise in global prices in the last six months, the government’s subsidy bill is estimated to rise to Rs 2.25 lakh crore in the current financial year. 

Explaining the logic for introducing this scheme, Mr Mandaviya said that the government subsidised 80 per cent of the retail price of urea, 65 per cent of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), 55 per cent of NPKs and 31 per cent of muriate of potash (MoP) prices. Freight subsidy was also provided in the range of Rs 6,000-9,000 crore annually.

Although the specifications of fertilisers manufactured by different companies were same according to the Fertiliser Control Order, 1985 across the nation, the products were manufactured and marketed under different brands in different States, he said. 

The minister added that there was a criss-cross movement of fertilisers across States, causing delays in transportation of soil nutrients and putting a freight subsidy burden on the government.

For instance, cooperatives IFFCO and KRIBCO had their manufacturing units in Uttar Pradesh, but they transported and sold their products in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals had a manufacturing unit in Rajasthan but sold its products in Madhya Pradesh. National Fertiliser had a unit in Madhya Pradesh but sold in Uttar Pradesh, he said. 

In some cases, fertilisers are manufactured in western India for marketing in the eastern region of the country. 

“The whole idea behind introducing a single brand is to stop this criss-cross movement, ensure companies sell their products in close vicinity of their manufacturing units and avoid unnecessary transportation,” he said.

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