To deal with the turbulent situation arising out of COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda, Mos Mansukh Mandaviya and Secretary Department of Fertilizers Chhabilendra Raul are closely monitoring and reviewing the production and distribution activities of fertilizers in the country. The interventions at highest level in Department is ensuring required availability of fertilisers to the farmers across India. The real time monitoring by the Department is being done to tide over any issue in the production and supply chain. There is complete coordination with various agencies at the Centre and the State/UT administration to ensure the adequate Fertilizer availability.
Talking about the Government’s commitment to maintain fertiliser supply to the farmers Gowda said in tweet, “as of now availability position is comfortable”
Department of Fertilizers (DoF) has been taking up issues for intervention at inter-ministerial level as and when required and also with States/ UTs for addressing operational constraints.
DoF has Advised all the fertilizer companies to ensure smooth movement of fertilizers from plants and ports and to provide the details of fertilizers rakes which were held up in States/ UTs due to lockdown. The unloading of held up rakes has been done through a concerted effort with Ministry of Railways and respective State Agriculture departments. The intensive monitoring is going on hourly and daily basis.
They have also been told to explore the possibility of additional storage of fertilizers in nearby plants.
DoF is coordinating with Ministry of Shipping for priority berthing of Fertilizers and also allow unloading and movement of fertilizers at ports.
State/ UTs Agriculture Departments, Chief Secretaries of States/ UTs have been requested to ensure continuous movement of fertilizers as an essential commodity. Ground level coordination is being ensured by advising all fertiliser companies to establish close coordination with local administration for smooth running of logistic chain and avoid multiple rake despatches for single locations. It has been advised that all operations shall follow health hygiene and social distance protocols.
DoF has also taken all proactive steps in line with various directions issued by Govt. of India from time to time and accordingly suitable advisories have been issued to officers and staff of DoF and to PSUs under the administrative control of DoF to ensure social distancing, proper hygiene practices, sanitation etc. to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
A team of officials has been constituted to prepare clear road map regarding key reforms and other initiatives in order to restore growth in the medium to long term in the fertilizer sector and oversee implementation of the road map.
On the social responsibility side, an appeal was made by the Minister for Chemical and Fertilizers to PSUs and Fertilizer Industries to donate from their CSR budgets to help in the steps to prevent the spread of the pandemic and to mitigate the adverse effects thereof. He specifically appealed to them to donate to the PM CARES fund that has been created by Government of India. So far, the various companies, including the PSUs, have donated close to Rs 45 crore to PM CARES fund.
An appeal has also been made to staff of DoF and to those of the staff of CPSEs under the administrative control of DoF to donate generously from their salaries to PM CARES fund.
Besides, The advisories issued by Health Ministry, Government of India regarding preparedness of hospitals for treating COVID affected persons have been circulated to NFL and RCF, the two CPSUs under DoF that have their own hospitals.