23 April, New Delhi
Lok Sabha Thursday passed the demands for grants of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers negating a few cut motions moved by the Opposition.
Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar in reply to the discussion on the demands said the government was fast on its way to revive the major sick or closed fertiliser plants, including the Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore(FACT) and give a fillip to the pharma industry to make it globally more competitive.
He announced the decision to set up parks for producing bulk drugs.
Kumar also spelt out various steps to check the smuggling and blackmarketing of urea and called for increasing agri-education to make farmers aware about right use of urea.
The Minister said the country needed 30 million tonnes of urea annually but it was producing only 22.5 million tonnes, and to bridge this gap, all closed plants like those in Gorakhpur(UP), Barauni(Bihar) and Talcher (Odisha) were being revived.
He said the Talcher plant would be made a joint venture and operated with a new technique of coal gasification, a technique adopted by China.
Other plants on the revival list were Ramagundam in Andhra Pradesh and Jagdishpur Haldia gas pipeline.
Work and production in all these plants would begin by 2019, he said, adding that the government would come out with a special plan for Kuttanad (Kerala) too.
Responding to the concern raised by various members, including Supriya Sule of the NCP, over the condition of Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd(HAL), Mr Kumar announced that he had recommended to the Finance Minister to give Rs 11 crore for paying the staff salary and other dues. The Ministry was only taking forward the proposal of the previous government to revive the PSU.