Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers keen to continue using naphtha as feedstock

Minister for chemicals and fertilisers Ananth Kumar wants the union cabinet to reconsider an earlier decision made in 2010 that all urea production units, including the Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited, should run only on gas-based production process.

Ananth Kumar was replying to Karnataka chief minister Sitaramayya's plea that the policy needs reconsideration as gas pipeline infrastructure could not be set for this plant as yet.

However, with the subsidy burden arising out of naphtha plants at Rs40,000 per tonne against Rs15,000 for gas-based production,  Ananth Kumar said it would not be sustainable over the longer term.

Ananth Kumar also asked the chief minister to waive off the VAT on naphtha to reduce the subsidy burden to the extent of the VAT, with an objective of maintaining the indigenous production and supply of urea.

Other things like setting up of another fertilizer unit in Northern Karnataka, a 'petroleum chemicals and petrochemicals investment region' (PCPIR), a National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) and a Vocational Training & Plastic Testing Agency under CIPET in the state were also discussed.

It was also decided that after the ensuing assembly session in the state, the officers of the Karnataka government will work with the ministry for chemicals and fertilisers to augur industrial development in the state for promoting huge employment opportunities.