Centre plans to amend fertilizer law to control import, supply

A Draft Built-in Plant Nourishment Management Invoice, circulated in the public domain for feedback, proposes to regulate costs, offer and import of fertiliser by a regulatory overall body, a shift that has lifted heckles across market and farmer bodies who have termed it as a reminder of the “inspector raj”.

In accordance to the draft Bill, “The Cente may perhaps, with a look at to regulate equitable distribution of fertilisers and make fertilisers readily available at good price ranges, by notification in the Formal Gazette, resolve the most prices or charges at which any fertiliser be offered by a seller, company, importer or a fertiliser advertising and marketing entity. The Cente might have regard for the area situations of any location, the time period of storage of fertilisers and other applicable instances, fix various price ranges or costs for fertilisers getting distinctive durations of storage or for various regions or for various courses of individuals.”

Field authorities claimed the current Fertiliser Control Order is more than sufficient to deal with unexpected emergency cases and placing this sort of draconian provisions less than a individual Act may direct to bringing back the “inspector raj”, reminiscent of the pre-1991 era.

‘Liberalise fertiliser sector’

“Both inspector raj and corruption will return if we go back to control. The federal government should absolutely liberalise the fertiliser sector, maybe in phases, by supplying subsidy as a result of direct money transfer to farmers as this will also assistance in bringing new solutions as for each nutrient requirement,” explained P K Joshi, previous head of Worldwide Food items Coverage Exploration Institute (South Asia).

Delivering a provision for the establishment of an Built-in Plant Nourishment Administration Authority of India, the draft Invoice said it (Authority) would “regulate the manner of registration for makers of fertilisers, established out complex standards with regard to the high quality of fertilisers and fertiliser merchandise, and advertise the sustainable use and progress of impressive fertilisers”.

Mentioning that the Authority, Union and Condition governments shall be accountable for the enforcement of this regulation, the draft Bill also empowers the Centre to take “suo motu cognizance” of any irregularities in the actions of makers, sellers or vendors and to initiate action for inquiry or to direct the State Controller to inquire into the matter. It has also permitted States to appoint “State Controllers of Fertilisers”.

Fertiliser Inspector

But the sector is disappointed with the provision on appointment of Fertiliser Inspector. The Monthly bill states: “The State Authorities, or the Cente, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint such a selection of folks, as it thinks required and possessing such technological and other qualifications as may well be prescribed by way of principles issued by the Centre to be Fertiliser Inspector for the intent of this Act and any procedures and rules built thereunder.”

It further more claimed a fertiliser inspector could workout powers these kinds of as in search of “any info in their possession from any company, importer, fertiliser advertising and marketing entity, wholesale seller or retailer” pertaining to the manufacture, storage and disposal of fertilisers. The inspector is also empowered to “enter and search any premises where by any type of fertiliser is manufactured or imported or stored or exhibited for sale if the fertiliser inspector has a motive to think that any fertiliser has been or is staying created/imported, bought, available for sale, saved, exhibited for sale or dispersed in contravention to any of the provisions of this Act or the procedures manufactured under it.”

The inspector can seize or confiscate any fertiliser which he has a rationale to imagine contravenes the benchmarks of high-quality founded by this Act. “Currently district magistrates are empowered to just take steps to ensure availability and check out black marketing of fertilisers. As they are quite liable, we have not occur across any important incident of misuse of the Fertiliser Control Get. But building publish of inspectors with these types of sweeping powers is simply just poor in a cost-free marketplace economic system,” stated a CEO of a major fertiliser company requesting anonymity.

Published on


February 15, 2022