Act for Quality of Fertilizers-
The Government of India has declared fertilizer as an essential commodity under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (ECA) and has notified Fertilizer Control Order, 1985 (FCO) under this Act. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of the State Governments to ensure the supply of quality of fertilizers by the manufacturers/importers of fertilizers as prescribed under the FCO under the ECA. As per the provision of the FCO, the fertilizers, which meet the standard of quality laid down in the order can only be sold to the farmers. There are 71 fertilizer testing laboratories including four laboratories of the Government of India at Faridabad, Kalyani, Mumbai and Chennai with an annual analyzing capacity of 1.34 lakh samples. The quality of the fertilizers imported in the Country is invariably checked by the fertilizer quality control laboratories of the Government of India.
The State Governments are adequately empowered to draw samples of the fertilizers anywhere in the Country and take appropriate action against the sellers of Non- Standard fertilizers. The penal provision includes prosecution of offenders and sentence if convicted up to seven years imprisonment under the ECA, 1955 besides cancellation of authorization certificate and other administrative action. The Department of Fertilizers make deductions along with penal interest on the quantity of the fertilizers for which the State Governments have reported to be Non- Standard.
Payment of concession for P&K fertilizers and for Single Super Phosphate (SSP) is made by the Department taking into account the certificate of quality given by the respective State Governments in Proforma 'B' for the fertilizers received and sold in the State. Further, SSP units are required to produce month-wise 'Quality Certificates' issued by the State Governments of the State in which the units are located. The units are required to have well equipped laboratory to test the sample of its SSP.
The SSP units are also required to print 'Quality Certified' on each bag released in the market. DOF also deputes PDIL to conduct first time technical inspection of the new SSP units. PDIL conducts six monthly inspections of the SSP units to check the quantity and quality of the fertilizers for which the units are claiming payment of subsidy. The units are also required to use only those grades of Rock Phosphate as inputs for manufacturing SSP under the NBS, which are notified by DOF from time to time. A statement showing the notified grades is at Annexure-XIII. DOF has also asked the State Government to constitute teams with that of PDIL to test samples of Single Super Phosphate (SSP) at the retailer level. The marketers of the SSP are also responsible for the quality of the fertilizer marketed by them. Department of Fertilizers has also constituted vigilance teams of the Officers of the Department to check the availability and quality of the fertilizers in the States.