Chennai, June 10:
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has urged the central government to provide subsidy to two naphtha-based fertilizer plants in the state till gas connectivity is provided to them for switch over.
Jayalalithaa urged the centre to relook the whole issue, referring to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s directive to naphtha-based urea fertilizer plants to switch over to gas to be eligible for any subsidy after June 30.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday released here Tuesday, Jayalalithaa requested him to “kindly issue immediate instructions to the department of fertilizers to take a relook at the issue and arrive at an immediate solution keeping in mind the interest of lakh of farmers and hundreds of workers by permitting these plants to continue to receive the subsidy from the Centre till such time when the gas connectivity is given to them.”
She said the state has two major naphtha-based urea fertilizer plants – SPIC at Tuticorin, and Madras Fertilizers Ltd. at Manali, in Chennai, a central public sector unit (PSU). The two companies produce about one million tonne of fertilizers per year.
“Both have invested considerably for the conversion from naphtha to gas. However, they are yet to be given confirmed gas allocation by the government of India,” Jayalalithaa said.
According to the chief minister, the two companies have taken up the issue with all the concerned organisations – GAIL, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., and ONGC – for the gas connectivity.
Till such time as they are given gas on an assured basis, these units will not be able to switch over to gas-based urea production as imported gas is almost as costly as naphtha, she said.