Context: The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers announced it has been decided to implement One Nation One Fertiliser by introducing a “Single Brand for Fertilisers and Logo” under the fertiliser subsidy scheme named “Pradhanmantri Bhartiya Janurvarak Pariyojna” (PMBJP).
- The memorandum stated the single brand name for UREA, DAP, MOP and NPK etc. would be BHARAT UREA, BHARAT DAP, BHARAT MOP and BHARAT NPK respectively for all Fertiliser Companies, State Trading Entities (STEs) and Fertiliser Marketing Entities (FMEs).
- Under the new “One Nation One Fertiliser” scheme, companies are allowed to display their name, brand, logo and other relevant product information only on one-third space of their bags.
- On the remaining two-thirds space, the “Bharat” brand and Pradhanmantri Bharatiya Jan Urvarak Pariyojana logo will have to be shown.
Government’s argument for introducing this scheme
The government’s logic for introducing a single ‘Bharat’ brand for all subsidised fertilisers being marketed by companies is as follows:
- There are some 26 fertilisers (inclusive of urea), on which government bears subsidy and also effectively decides the MRPs.
- The government is spending vast sums of money on fertiliser subsidy (the bill is likely to cross Rs 200,000 crore in 2022-23)
- The government also decides where fertilizer has to be sold.
- This is done through the Fertiliser (Movement) Control Order, 1973.
- Under this, the department of fertilisers draws an agreed monthly supply plan on all subsidised fertilisers in consultation with manufacturers and importers.
Drawbacks of the scheme
A couple of issues are immediately apparent:
- It will disincentivise fertiliser companies from undertaking marketing and brand promotion activities.
- Companies will be reduced to contract manufacturers and importers for the government.
- In case of any bag or batch of fertilisers not meeting the required standards, the blame will be fully on the government.
Source: Indian Express