The quality of fertilisers is governed under the Fertilizer (Control) (Organic, Inorganic and Mixed) Order, 1985 (FCO) provisions. The specifications of various fertilisers are specified under FCO. Clause 19 of FCO strictly prohibits the sale or manufacture of fertilisers which are not of prescribed standards. No person shall sell any product as fertiliser unless it is specified under the FCO, Minister of State for Planning (IC) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply to a question on quality and prices of fertilisers, in Lok Sabha today.
Singh further said that it is the prime responsibility of the state governments to ensure quality fertilisers to farmers as per FCO specifications and are adequately empowered to implement the provisions of FCO. Any violation of provisions of FCO invokes both administrative and penal penalties. Under FCO, it is mandatory to indicate the maximum retail price (MRP) on bags of fertilisers and no person shall sell or offer for sale any fertiliser at a price exceeding the maximum price or rate fixed, the minister added.
Sing said that reasonableness of MRP of P&K fertilisers fixed by the fertiliser companies is examined by the Department of Fertilizers under the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme. It has been stipulated in the provisions that in cases, where after scrutiny, unreasonableness of MRP is established or where there is no correlation between the cost of production or acquisition and the MRP printed on the bags, the subsidy would be restricted or denied even if the product is otherwise eligible for subsidy under NBS scheme. In proven case of abuse of subsidy mechanism, the Department of Fertilizers, on the recommendation of Inter-Ministerial Committee may exclude any grade/grades of fertilisers of a particular company or the fertiliser company itself from the NBS scheme.
The minister also stated that there is no report of instances of unauthorised sale of fertilizer from any state government.