Minister of State for Planning (IC) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, in a written reply to a question on neem coated urea, in Lok Sabha today, said that ‘Diversion of highly subsidized urea towards non-agricultural purposes is negligible among farmers after the introduction of the mandatory policy of production and distribution of only Neem Coated Urea’, as per a studyinstituted by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), to determine the impact of Neem Coated Urea. The interim report prepared by Agricultural Development and Rural Transformation Centre (ADRTC), Bengaluru has been submitted by DAC& FW.

The Minister statedthat Government of India has declared fertilizer as an essential commodity under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955(ECA) and notified Fertilizer (Control) Order (FCO), 1985 & Fertilizer (Movement Control) Order, 1973 under the EC Act. State Governments have been adequately empowered to check diversion of fertilizers and to conduct search, make seizures and take punitive action against any person violating provisions of FCO, 1985 and Essential Commodities Act, 1955. Neem coating of Urea is one of the measures to prevent diversion. It is informed that during the period from 2016-17 to 2018-19 (till date) only one case of diversion (in the year 2017-18) has been reported by the State Government of Uttarakhand.

Shri Singh further stated that there is no shortage of urea or any other fertilizer in the country and availability is more than the sales.