Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at Peddapalli district of Telangana on November 12 to dedicate a fertiliser plant, which is one of the five taken up for revival by the central government in 2012. The RFCL plant is set to boost India’s capacity in urea production.
The plant was taken up for revival under New Investment Policy (NIP) 2012 to facilitate fresh investment in the urea sector. The prime minister had laid the foundation stone for the revival project in 2016. The natural gas-based ammonia urea complex is a joint venture of National Fertilizers Limited (NFL), Engineers India Limited (EIL) and Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL).
Before it was shut down, Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemical Limited (RFCL) was one of the manufacturing units of Fertilizer Corporation of India. It was declared a “sick” undertaking in 1992. Over the next decade, most FCI units closed as they started incurring heavy losses due to high input cost, electricity tariffs among other reasons. Later, a plan to revive them was launched seeing India’s increasing dependence on urea and, in order to bring down the input cost, natural gas is being used as fuel instead of coal.
The RFCL plant is receiving gas from the 365-km gas pipeline in Kakinada, which became operational in March 2021. A press release from the prime minister’s office said the plant will make 12.7 LMT per annum indigenous neem-coated urea production.
“The plant will ensure adequate and timely supply of urea fertiliser to farmers in Telangana as well as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. The plant will not only improve the availability of fertiliser, but also boost overall economic development in the region, including development of infrastructure such as roads, railways, ancillary industry. Apart from this, the region will benefit from development of MSME vendors for supply of goods for the factory. ‘Bharat Urea’ will provide a tremendous boost to the economy by not only reducing imports but also by giving an impetus to local farmers through timely supply of fertilisers and extension services,” the release stated.
Prime Minister Modi will also inaugurate some national projects worth over Rs 9,500 crore at Ramagundam. He is also scheduled to address a public meeting.
War of words before visit
Ahead of the PM’s visit, the ruling TRS said the central government had insulted the people of Telangana by not following the minimum protocol in the invitation to the Ramagundam Fertilizer Factory programme. Party leaders have alleged that chief minister K Chandrasekar Rao did not receive an official invitation to the inauguration despite the state having 11 per cent stake in the venture.
‘Modi Go Back’ flexes and posters have cropped up in the state, while 64 eminent citizens have written an open letter to the PM asking him to fulfil pending promises to Telangana. The CPI has announced that it will protest against PM Modi’s visit to Ramagundam and resist his government’s policies.
In retaliation, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh said: “Why is KCR opposing the opening of a fertiliser factory? This factory will not only benefit farmers but also the entire country. KCR, who is losing influence by the day in Telangana, is drowning in despair. As he did not get a massive majority in the previous election, KCR is worried about his defeat in the upcoming elections.”
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