India may not need to import fertilisers, a major contributor to its huge subsidy bill, in the next five years as the country aims to be self-reliant with the revival of eight closed plants, which require a total investment of Rs 32,000 crore.
The gap of 6-7 million tonnes between fertiliser supply and demand after five years can be bridged, once the plants are revived, Fertiliser Secretary Atul Chaturvedi told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.
The country will be able to bridge the gap, within a span of five years, between its annual supply and demand, which is likely to be around 28 million tonnes, the secretary said.
The current output of farm nutrients stand at 20 million tonnes, compared with an annual requirement of up to 26 million tonnes, he added.
India's fertiliser subsidy bill more than doubled to Rs 1,02,000 crore during 2008-09 due to the unprecedented rise in fertiliser prices in global markets in the beginning of the fiscal.
To reduce dependence on imports, the Cabinet had in October last year approved setting up of an empowered panel of secretaries, to be headed by Fertiliser Secretary Atul Chaturvedi, to choose financial models for the revival of five units of Fertilizer Corporation of India Ltd (FCIL) and three plants of Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Ltd (HFCL).
According to Fertiliser Ministry estimates, each of these plants will need an investment of Rs 4,000 crore for revival and produce around 1.2 million tonnes of the farm nutrient.