MCF will run with naphtha till gas connection: Ananth Kumar

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertiliser Ananth Kumar said Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited (MCF) will run with naphtha till work on providing gas connection will be done by Petronet to the fertiliser factory. A cabinet note has been prepared to run all three naphtha based companies- MSL, MCF and SPIC till three years for production of urea.

Briefing reporters, he said sudden decision taken by UPA government in 2007, all naphtha based fertiliser industries had to convert into gas based within 2014. However, in seven years the government did nothing to provide gas to MCF. If they had done it, the factory could have got the gas connection by 2010 itself. However, the Kerala government has agreed to give land for the pipeline, he said.

Nine urea factories

From past 10 years no fertiliser factory has been setup in the country. The country needs around 32 million ton of urea per area, but the production is around 22 million ton, which means India imports 10 million ton of urea. Under Make in India campaign, the government has decided to set up nine urea factories with an estimated investment of Rs 50,000 crores. The Karnataka CM had assured 500 acres of land and 10 per cent of equity participation, but he didn’t move forward, he said.

He said country needs around four lakh plastic engineers and technicians every year, but the county has only 44,000 degree holders from 23 centres. The Centre is ready to open Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (now in Mysuru) even in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. “I have discussed the matter with the chief minister and ministers of respective departments. States including Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarath have already asked for it, but our State government is yet to respond,” he said.

Plastic, pharma parks

Ananth Kumar said the Centre was ready to start plastic and pharma parks in Karnataka. At present utilisation of plastic is around 12 million tonne in the country and till 2020 India may need around 20 million tonne. Plastic, pharma and polymer parks can be started by setting up petrochemical complex around refineries. There are 22 refineries in India.

Generic medicines

He said he had written letter to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader about generic medical shop facility which can be provided to all district hospitals. The government provides Rs 2.50 lakh for each shop and more than 500 types of medicine.

Medicines would be provided to public with 30 per cent discount. Seven states are running medical shops already, but the CM and the health minister are not ready to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. Khader had said they would start ‘Janasanjeevini’ project, but it is nowhere mentioned in the budget, he said.

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