Micro-fertiliser makers’ body urges govt not to control prices of micronutrients

Micro-fertiliser makers’ body IMMA on Saturday hailed the proposed bill on plant nutrition management to regulate the sector, but urged the government not to bring any price control mechanism for micronutrients and speciality products.

The Indian Micro-Fertilizers Manufacturers Association (IMMA) said in a statement that it welcomes the draft Integrated Plant Nutrition Management (IPNM) Bill 2022 which is aimed at regulating the micro-fertiliser sector.

IMMA said the aim of the proposed bill should be to promote ease of doing business.

IMMA, however, urged the government to “control the prices of only those nutrients where subsidy is being provided and not to control the rates of micronutrients and specialised fertilisers”.

In February, the Department of Fertilisers floated the draft bill and sought comments from all stakeholders.

The proposed law empowers the government to fix the maximum selling price of fertilisers and control their quality as well as distribution.

The draft bill seeks to establish an ‘Integrated Plant Nutrition Management Authority of India’.

On Friday, IMMA organised the third edition of the National Crop Nutrition Summit with all stakeholders, including the government, industry bodies, agricultural input companies, farmers and agricultural input dealers in attendance.

“While the move is welcome, the industry needs to begin a constructive dialogue on this radical policy shift and set up checks and balances to ensure that farmers receive quality agricultural inputs and accurately understand the agro-economic benefits of using the new-age fertilisers,” said Rahul Mirchandani, president, IMMA.

R K Tewatia, Director- Agriculture Sciences, Fertilizer Association of India, said, “There is a need for different chapters in the IPNM Bill 2022 for subsidised and non-subsidised fertilisers.” The provisions to enable ease of doing business are essential to support the industry, he added.

IMMA was established in 1983 to represent the interests of micronutrient manufacturers across the country.

Vice president Sameer Pathare said the IMMA has three major focus areas of work — policy advocacy with the government, knowledge and skills, training of staff and stakeholders across India.

The participants also suggested that label claim norms for new innovative fertilisers must be developed with a technical committee having representatives from micronutrient and specialty fertiliser makers.

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