Year End Review 2018: Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers (Download PDF)

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The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in India is the administrative unit of three departments namely: Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Department of Fertilizers, and Department of Pharmaceuticals

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Department of Fertilizers (DoF)

Neem Coating of Urea (Important)

Neem Coating achieved w. e. f. : -

  • 1st September, 2015 in respect of entire quantity of indigenously produced urea and w. e. f.

  • 1st December, 2015 in respect of imported urea As per the interim report of study by DAC&FW in 2016, the benefits of use of Neem Coated Urea are as under: -

    • Improvement in soil health

    • Reduction in usage of plant protection chemicals

    • Reduction in pest and disease attack

    • An increase in yield of paddy, sugarcane, maize, soybean, Tur/Red Gram

    • Diversion towards non-agricultural purposes negligible.

    • Due to slow release of Nitrogen, Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) of Neem Coated Urea increases resulting in reduced consumption of NCU as compared to Normal urea.

Introduction of 45 Kg Bag of Urea

  • On 1st March, 2018, DAC&FW has notified the MRP of 45 kg bag of urea at Rs. 242 per bag and a period of two months from the date of DAC&FW gazette notification given to urea units as lead time to ensure smooth implementation of the policy.

  • DAC&FW has been requested to conduct a study regarding the impact of introduction of 45 kg bag on urea sales during the ongoing Kharif Season as well as the upcoming Rabi Season.

Dealer/Distribution Margin

  • From 28th March, 2018 DoF revised Dealer’s Margin from Rs. 180/200 per MT of Urea (for Private Agencies/Institutional Agencies) to Rs. 354 per MT of Urea.

  • Rs. 354/MT being paid uniformly to all Dealers/Distributors effective from 1st April, 2018, on the quantity sold through POS devices only.

  • Benefits of increasing dealer margin: -

  • Enhance the financial viability of Dealers/Distributors post DBT implementation.

  • Around 23,000 Dealers across the country benefitted.

New Urea Policy – 2015 (Important)

  • Effective from 1st June 2015.

  • Objectives: -

    • To maximize indigenous urea production;

    • To promote energy efficiency in the urea units; and

    • To rationalize the subsidy burden on the Government of India

    • Achievements of NUP-2015: -

  • The production of urea during the year 2016 - 17 and 2017 - 18 was 242.01 and 240.92 LMT, which is significantly higher than the production of urea during 2012 - 13 (225.75LMT) and 2013 - 14 (227.15 LMT).

Amendment to NUP – 2015: Target Energy Norms

DoF, on 28th March, 2018, notified the following in respect of Target Energy Norms:

  • In respect of11 urea manufacturing units, target energy norms have come into force w. e. f. 1stApril, 2018.

  • In respect of remaining 14 urea units, existing norms extended for further period of 2 years with penalties, in consultation with the Ministry of Finance.

  • Target energy norms to be continued upto 31st March, 2025. An expert body under NITI Aayog constituted to recommend the energy norms to be achieved from 01st April, 2025.

New Investment Policy- 2012

  • The Government announced New Investment Policy (NIP) -2012 on 2nd January, 2013 and its amendment on 7th October, 2014 to facilitate fresh investment in urea sector and to make India self-sufficient in the urea sector.

  • Under NIP- 2012 read with its amendment, Matix Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (Matix) set up a Coal Bed Methane (CBM) based Greenfield Ammonia-Urea complex at Panagarh, West Bengal with the installed capacity of 1.3 MMT per annum.

  • The commercial production of Matix started on 1st October, 2017.

  • Chambal Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited proposed to set up a brownfield project with capacity of 1.34 MMT at Gadepan, Rajasthan.

  • Gorakhpur, Sindri and Barauni unitsof FCILbeing revived through nominate route by forming a JV of nominated PSUs by setting up gas based newammonia-urea fertilizer plants of 1.27 MMTPA capacity each.

  • Talcher unit of FCIL in Odisha being revived through ‘Nomination Basis’ by forming JV of nominated PSUs.

  • Ramagundam unit of FCIL being revived through nomination route by forming JV of nominated PSUs

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)

  • The DoF has successfully implemented DBT in the entire country. The Pan India rollout of DBT completed in March 2018.

  • 100 % subsidy on various fertilizer grades being released to fertilizer companies on basis of actual sales made by the retailers to beneficiaries. Sale of all subsidised fertilizers to farmers/buyers is made through Point of Sale (PoS) devices installed at each retailer shop and the beneficiaries to be identified through Aadhaar Card, KCC, Voter Identity Card etc.

  • A Project Monitoring Cell setup in the Department to oversee implementation of DBT exclusively. 24 State Coordinators appointed across all States to monitor the on-going DBT activities.

  • A dedicated 15-member Multi-lingual Help Desk set up to provide quick response to the queries of wide range of stakeholders across the country as a preparatory to DBT implementation.

Policy on Promotion of City Compost (Important)

  • The Government of India approved a policy on promotion of City Compost, notified by the DoF on 10.02. 2016 granting Market Development Assistance of Rs. 1500/- for scaling up production and consumption of city compost.

  • From 28.9. 2016, to increase sale volumes, compost manufacturers willing to market city compost allowed to sell city compost in bulk directly to farmers. This boosted city compost sales to 199061.91 MT during 2017 - 18 from 96584.00 MT in 2016 - 17. An increasing trend in financial year 2018 - 19 observed. During the current year, the overall sale of city compost by marketers and manufacturers in bagged and bulk form till November, 2018 is 183378 MT.

  • Fertilizer companies marketing city compost covered under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for Fertilizers.

  • Fertilizer Companies adopted 384 villages for promoting the use of City Compost.

Use of Space Technology in Fertilizer Sector (Important)

  • DoF commissioned a three year Pilot Study on “Resource Mapping of Rock Phosphate using Reflectance Spectroscopy and Earth Observations Data” by National Remote Sensing Centre under ISRO, in collaboration with Geological Survey of India (GSI) and the Atomic Mineral Directorate (AMD).

  • The MoU for the propose study signed on 21.08. 2017. Letter of Authorization for release of funds of Rs. 31.40 lakh issued by the DoF on 10.05. 2018.

  • The work on first phase is in progress. Preliminary Data processing for the phosphate mapping is completed. Spectral analysis of samples collected during field work is completed.

Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP)

‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’ (PMBJP) (Important)

  • 4504 PMBJP Kendras functional in 35 States/UTs of the country.

  • 800 + medicines and 154 surgical & consumables available in the product basket.

  • 625 medicines and 32 surgical & consumables available in CWH of BPPI for sale.

  • PMBJP guidelines amended to provide incentives to PMBJP Kendras run by private entrepreneurs on the basis of their purchase of medicines (from Distributor/Central Warehouse/Regional Warehouse) in a month. The incentive given@15 % of monthly purchase subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10,000/- per month upto a total limit of Rs. 2.5 lakhs.

  • Use of point-of-sale software by PMBJP Kendra will not be a mandatory condition for receipt of incentives. The applicants belonging to weaker sections like SC/ST/Differently abled are provided medicines worth Rs. 50,000/- in advance within the incentive of Rs. 2.5 lakhs.

  • For north eastern states, naxal affected areas and tribal areas, the rate of incentive will be 15 % of monthly purchase subject to a ceiling of Rs. 15,000/- per month upto a total limit of Rs. 2.5 lakhs.

National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER)

  • Directors at NIPER Hyderabad and Hajipur appointed in June 2018 and November 2018 respectively. Now, all NIPERs have regular Directors.

  • Constitution of BoG for other six NIPERs in process.

  • 60 % work of construction of NIPER Guwahati campus completed.

  • 50 acres of IDPL land allotted to NIPER Hyderabad.

  • Govt. of West Bengal recently allotted 10 acres of land at Nadia District for NIPER Kolkata.

  • Department decided to accept 12.5 acres of land allotted by State Govt. for NIPER Hajipur.

  • Construction of regular campus approved for NIPER Ahmedabad and Guwahati only@Rs. 103.88 crores each. Rs. 100.00 crores each approved for equipment to NIPER Ahmedabad, Guwahati & Hyderabad while Rs. 55.00 crores each to NIPER Hajipur, Kolkata & Raebareli.

  • The matter of starting B. Pharma courses discussed in the 33rdmeeting of Steering Committee of NIPERs held under Chairmanship of Secretary, Pharmaceuticals on 1.10. 2018 at NIPER Kolkata. NIPERs have initiated procedural formalities for starting the undergraduate courses from next academic session.

  • NIPER Mohali has bagged rank Number 1, NIPER Hyderabad as Number 6 and NIPER Ahmedabad as Number 14 in NIRF Survey 2018 conducted by MoHRD.

Medical Devices Sector

  • The DoP issued guidelines for implementation of Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order, 2017 related to Medical Devices on 15.06. 2018.

  • Further, the DoP, on 16.10. 2018, amended the guidelines clarifying that USFDA/CE Certifications etc. shall not be mandatory for those medical devices for which Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) standards exist. This move is expected to boost manufacturing of indigenous medical devices.

  • The Department approved a sub-scheme termed as Development of Common Facility Centre for Medical Devices (DCFC-MD) under the umbrella scheme for Development of Pharmaceuticals Industry. It aims to give financial assistance for creation of Common Facility Centers (CFC) in the upcoming Medical Device Parks. This is expected to lower down the cost of manufacturing of indigenous medical devices and hence making it more competitive.

Scheme for Development of Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Central Sector Scheme with a total financial outlay of Rs. 480 crores.

  • Objective to ensure drug security in the country by increasing the efficiency and competitiveness of domestic pharmaceutical industry with the following sub-schemes:

  • Assistance to Bulk Drug Industry for Common Facility Centre - Rs. 200 crores earmarked; creation of common facilities in any upcoming Bulk Drug Park promoted by State Governments/State Corporations;

  • Assistance to Medical Device Industry for Common Facility Centre - Rs. 100 crores earmarked; creation of common facilities in any upcoming Medical Device Park promoted by State Governments/State Corporations;

  • Pharmaceuticals Technology Upgradation Assistance Scheme (PTUAS) - Rs. 144 crores earmarked; facilitate Small and Medium Pharma Enterprises (SMEs) to upgrade their plant and machinery to World Health Organization (WHO) /Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards;

  • Assistance for Cluster Development - Rs. 30 crores earmarked; creation of common facilities in any pharma clusters including Bulk Drug, Medical Device, Ayurvedic, Unani and Cosmetics Units; and

  • Pharmaceutical Promotion Development Scheme (PPDS) - Rs. 6 crores earmarked; promotion, development and export promotion in Pharmaceutical sector; 22 events conducted during January, 2018 to November, 2018. . The said scheme; 3rd India Pharma 2018 and India Medical Device 2018 held at Bengaluru from 15 - 17 February 2018.

‘Affordable & Quality HealthCare for All’ - Availability of Cheaper Medicines (Important)

  • NPPA has fixed retail prices of the 357 new drug under DPCO 2013 in 2018.

  • Cardiac Stents to cost 85 % lesser

  • Ceiling price of Coronary Stents revised w. e. f. 12thFebruary, 2018. All types of cardiac stents now available in the price range of Rs. 7,923 to Rs. 28,849.

  • Bare Metal Stents (BMS), having 10 % market share, capped at Rs. 7,923.

  • Drug Eluting stent (DES), having 90 % market share, capped at Rs. 28,849.

  • Millions of Heart patients in the country to save up to Rs. 1 lakh.

  • Total estimated savings to consumers around Rs. 4547 crores.

  • Knee Implants to cost 69 % lesser.

  • Knee Implant ceiling prices fixed w. e. f. 16thAugust, 2017 for one year. further extended for one year w. e. f. 15thAugust, 2018.

  • Various types of knee implants now available in the price range of Rs. 54,720 to Rs. 1,13,950.

  • Total estimated savings to consumers around Rs. 1500 crores.

Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals (DoCPC)

Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIRs):

  • The Government of India approved setting up of 4 PCPIRs in the States of Gujarat (Dahej), Andhra Pradesh (Vishakhapatnam–Kakinada), Odisha (Paradeep) and Tamil Nadu (Cuddalore- Nagapattinam).

  • 4 PCPIRs estimated to attract an investment of about Rs. 7.62 lakh crore and provide employment to around 34 lakh persons. These PCPIRs are at different stage of implementation.

  • HPCL-GAIL completed feasibility study for 1.0 MMTPA cracker-cum-petrochemical complex at Kakinada in AP PCPIR.

  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change granted Environment and Coastal Region Zone (CRZ) clearance on 14.09. 2017 for an area of 44445.18 hectare excluding forest land of 853.41 hectare for development of Gujarat PCPIR.

  • Master Plan for Gujarat PCPIR completed. Master Plan for Odisha PCPIR and AP PCPIR underway.

  • Tamil Nadu PCPIR region notified by the State Government.

  • A Committee co-chaired by Secretary (Petroleum) and Secretary (Chemicals and Petrochemicals) constituted to examine the issue of petrochemical demand and supply over next 15 to 20 years and to recommend policy options to the Government including recommendations regarding amendments to the existing PCPIR Policy of the Government.

Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET):

  • CIPET focuses on ‘STAR’ – Skill Development, Technology Support Services, Academic and Research in all the domains of Polymer Science & Technology.

  • Presently, 32 centres of CIPET functional across the country and 7 more are in pipeline.

  • The Foundation Stone of CIPET: Centre for Skilling and Technical Support (CSTS) – Chandrapur laid on 11thNovember, 2018 jointly by Shri Nitin Gadkari and Shri Hansraj G. Ahir.

  • An Advanced Polymer Design and Development Research Laboratory (APDDRL) being set up at Bengaluru for R&D in key areas of polymeric applications in defence, healthcare, solar energy, e-waste recycling etc.

  • CIPET tied-up with various PSUs and industries for indigenization of plastics products, technology solutions, R&D with focus on “MAKE IN INDIA”such as Defense, marine & industrial applications.

  • During 2018 - 19 (upto Nov, 2018), CIPET has trained 28,774 students through Long Term Skill Development Programmes and Short Term Skill Development Programmes. CIPET also rendered around 50,118 (upto Nov, 2018 - 19) Technology Support Service assignments/job works for plastics industries.

Assam Gas Cracker Project - Brahmaputra Cracker & Polymer Limited (BCPL)

  • The Project dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister of India on 5thFebruary 2016. The Plant is operating at more than 100 % capacity continuously in the current financial year.

  • The project has capacity to produce 2.20 lakh tonne per annum (TPA) of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) /Linear Low Density Polyethylene and 60,000 TPA Polypropylene (PP).

Schemes for Setting up of Plastic Parks

Two new Plastic Parks in the States of Jharkhand & Madhya Pradesh (Bilaua) accorded ‘final approval’ by the Scheme Steering Committee, under the Chairmanship of Secretary (C&PC) in its meeting held on 05.12. 2018.

Make in India

  • The DoCPC is the nodal Department for implementing the provisions related to procurement of goods and services related to ‘Chemicals’sector.

  • Department has issued Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017 for six chemicals viz. (i) Soda Ash, (ii) Caustic Soda, (iii) Aluminium Fluoride, (iv) Carbon Black, (v) Formaldehyde and (vi) Chlorine, on 25th May 2018.

  • Further, the Department has issued Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017 for fourty-nine additional Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Dyestuff and Pesticides, on 23rd October 2018.

Hindustan Organic Chemicals Limited (HOCL)

Status of implementation of the restructuring plan of HOCL (as on 30.11. 2018) is as follows:

  • All plants of Rasayani unit except N2O4 plant have been closed down.

  • N2O4 plant has been transferred to ISRO along with 20 acres land and 131 employees associated with the plant.

  • Out of 442 acres land at Rasayani to be sold to BPCL, sale transaction for 251 acres have been completed. Sale of remaining 191 acres will be done after land survey report is cleared by the State Government.

  • Approval of the Government for sale of additional 242 acres (+/- 10%) land at Rasayani to BPCL and for lease transfer of 1000 sq m land at Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, to NALCO has been accorded on 09.10. 2018.

  • For disposal of the remaining unencumbered land at Rasayani (approx. 258 acres) and Panvel land (8 acres), negotiations are underway with Govt. agencies like BPCL and MIDC.

  • All the 10 Nestle flats (Mumbai), closed down plants and utility blocks have CPC 10 been successfully e-auctioned through MSTC.

  • All the non-regular employees and about 313 regular employees of Rasayani unit have been separated through VRS/VSS.

  • Liability relating to redemption of Govt. guaranteed bonds of Rs. 250 crore has been fully settled by HOCL from the GoI bridge loan.

  • After implementation of the restructuring plan, the Phenol/Acetone plant at Kochi unit resumed regular operations from July, 2017 and has been operating regularly since then with positive contribution. This has enabled HOCL to earn net profit of about Rs. 24 crore (Prov. ) from Kochi unit operations during the current FY 2018 - 19 (up to September, 2018).

India Chem- 2018

  • The 10th edition of India Chem 2018 was successfully held during 4th-6th October, 2018 at Mumbai with the theme “Chemicals and Petrochemicals – Advantage India”.

  • Participation from 24 countries.

  • Partner States: West Bengal, Gujarat, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

  • States Participation: Maharahstra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

  • 285 exhibiting companies.

  • Concurrent events held as part of India Chem 2018

  • Global CEOs Round Table

  • Conclave with Overseas Industry Associations coinciding India Chem 2018 organized by Indian Chemical Council

  • INDIA-JAPAN Chemicals & Petrochemicals forum, supported by Japan External Trade organization (JETRO)

  • INDIA-GERMANY Chemicals & Petrochemicals forum, supported by Indo-German Chamber of Commerce

  • FICCI Chemicals & Petrochemicals Awards Distribution Function

  • Buyer Seller Meet by CHEMEXCIL

  • Conclave on Indian Petrochemical Industry

  • Conclave on Agrochemical Industry”

BIS Standard for Caustic Soda (Important)

In order to make revised quality standards BIS standards IS 252: 2013 for Caustic Soda mandatory for both domestic makers and imports, this DoCPC has notified the order of mandation of BIS standards IS 252: 2013 for caustic soda, to reduce the consumption of inferior grade caustic soda having mercury impurity.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 18, 2019

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