India produced a record 245 lakh tonne of urea in 2015-16 and is fast moving to become self-reliant on this front, Union minister Hansraj Ahir said here today.
He said the country would start exporting the commonly used fertiliser in next two years on the back of such production.
"There has been a record production of 245 lakh tonnes of indigenous urea last year against 225 lakh tonnes in the preceding year (2014-15). We achieved this only by utilising our existing capacity," the minister told reporters.
He said this additional production of 20 lakh tonnes of the commonly used fertiliser has not only helped in saving foreign exchange but also in imports substitutions.
"The quantum jump in production of urea is the living example of highly successful 'Make In India' campaign," the MoS for Chemical and Fertilisers said.
He said the increased production of urea is equivalent to the production capacity of almost two urea plants without any additional investments.
Ahir said the BJP government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to revive 5 urea plants across the country.
"As per the announcement made in the budget to revive non-functional urea plants, we are moving fast in this direction and the tender for revival of one plant will be opened soon," he said.
Ahir said his ministry is in consultation with its US counterparts to produce urea from coal.
"We are in talks with our American counterparts to make urea from coal. It's NDA government's dream to turn black gold (coal) into white (urea) one," said Ahir who had blown the lid off the coalgate scam when UPA was at the helm.
"When we start producing urea out of coal, we would be saving Rs 7,000-8,000 per tonne on production.
"Currently, government of India gives subsidy of Rs 55,000 per year on the production of urea and government has to import almost 80 lakh tonne (of urea) from other countries, particularly half of it from China," said Ahir.
He said the government has approved the policy of promotion of city compost by fixing an amount of Rs 1500 per tonne to its producers which will incentivise the production and consumption of city compost.
"Government departments and PSUs have been asked to use city compost for their horticulture and other uses," he said.