Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Will govt revive loss making fertiliser PSU units?

Union mines minister Tomar, the MoS (I/C) for petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan meeting chemicals and fertilizers minister Ananthkumar
THIS may not bring good days for the tens of thousands of employees of the beleaguered PSU fertiliser units under the government of India. In a sharp departure from its earlier stance of revival of sick PSUs, the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers has decided to set up new fertiliser plants rather than restarting closed fertiliser units. The earlier UPS government had proposed to revive...
urea production in country by deciding to restart closed fertiliser factories. The revival of the fertiliser units has been a long pending issue before the government but no concrete action plan has so far been unveiled. Media reports say the decision came following a request by the new fertiliser minister. The proposal was to revive closed fertiliser units of Fertiliser Corporation of India Ltd and Hindusthan Fertiliser Corporation Ltd by setting up new plants at Sindri, Talcher and Ramagundam , Barauni, Gorakhpur, Korba, Haldia and Durgapur.
In 2008, Union Cabinet approved to revive fertiliser Corporation of India Limited (FCIL) and Hindustan fertilisers Corporation Limited (HFCL) units subject to non-recourse to Government funding.
In 2011, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), approved the Draft Rehabilitation Scheme (DRS) for revival of all the Units of FCIL and HFCL. According to the scheme, the revival of Talcher Unit would have been done by the consortium of Rashtriya Chemical & fertilisers Limited (RCF), Coal India Limited (CIL) and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL).
Similarly, the revival of Ramagundam Unit would have been done by Engineers India Limited (EIL) and National fertilisers Limited (NFL) and revival of Sindri unit by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).
Later, CCEA in 2013 gave its nod for waiver of Government of India loan and interest to facilitate Fertiliser Corporation of India Ltd to arrive at positive net worth.
As many as ten fertiliser plants out of 23 operated by state-run companies are closed, while seven others are incurring losses. There are seven public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the fertiliser sector having total of 23 manufacturing plants, and out of which only six plants are in profit.
The PSUs which are operating in the fertiliser sector are Rashtriya Chemicals & fertilisers (RCF), National Fertilisers Ltd (NFL), Madras fertilisers Ltd (MFL), Fertilisers And Chemicals Travancore (FACT), Brahmaputra Valley Fertilisers Corporation Ltd (BVFCL), Fertilisers Corporation of India Ltd (FCIL) and Hindustan Fertilisers Corporation Ltd (HFCL).
Recently, Union minister for chemicals & fertilizers Ananth Kumar held a meeting with the minister of steel, mines and labour & employment Narendra Singh Tomar and the minister for petroleum and natural gas Dr. Dharmendra Pradhan on issues relating to revival of sick units of Fertiliser Corporation of India Ltd. (FCIL) and also those of Hindustan Fertiliser Corporation Ltd. (HFCL). The FCIL sick fertilizers units at Sindri, (Jharkhand), Gorakpur (Uttar Pradesh), Ramagundam (Andhra Pradesh), and Talcher (Orissa) and un-commissioned unit at Korba (Chhatisgarh) have certain issues relating to supply of gas and land related issues that belong to the Steel Authority of India. Problems relating to revival of fertilizer units of HFCL at Barauni in Bihar and Durgapur and Haldia in West Bengal were also discussed in the meeting.

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