Urea imports augmented stridently to 6.9 million tonnes in 2007-08 and 5.66 mt in 2008-09 from 0.22 mt in 2000-01.
The Union Government will almost immediately come out with a new speculation policy to revitalize eight urea factories in the public sector in order to make the country self-contained in this nutrient.
Mr Satish Chandra, Joint Secretary, Department of Fertilisers said “The idea is to reduce addiction on imports by reviving the now obsolete urea units, each with an normal capacity of 1.15 million tonnes. We may be expecting the strategy in a combine of months.
Conversation to reporters on the sidelines of a national meet on fertilisers here on Monday, he said the occasion to restore these units may first be given to the public sector fertiliser companies on nomination. If they were not ready for the job, they could be taken up under public-private partnership. The innovative promoters would have to bring in investments to acquire new technologies and machinery.
The conference on “India 2020: Chemical fertiliser sector Government policies, challenges and growth strategies' was in cooperation organised by the Fertilisers Association of India and Institute of Public Enterprises.
An industry source said it would require Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000 crore to perk up each of the eight units.
The Government would lengthen the decontrol mechanism to urea in the phase-II of the revamp of the fertiliser pricing system, he said, without indicating a timeline for the same.
It was in the development of formulating a pricing policy for Stage-IV of new-fangled pricing system for urea for the intervening period from April 1, 2010 till NBS was made appropriate to urea.
Ruling out lessening of the scaling down of subsidies, Mr Satish Chandra said the NBS had not resulted in pointed augment in prices of fertilisers that witnessed decontrolled in the phase-I.