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States can take action against fertilizer manufacturers, dealers when fail to meet standards

States can take action against fertilizer manufacturers, dealers when fail to meet standards.
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The Agriculture Ministry amended the Fertiliser Control Order, 1985, to allow states to take action against both manufacturers and dealers when samples drawn from untampered bags fail to meet standards.

According to a notification issued by the ministry on Tuesday, the dealer and manufacturer will be made parties to the case under the Act and proceedings under clause 31 of the order. In order to accomplish this, clause 19A was added.

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While the order allowed for complaints to be filed against both manufacturers and dealers for selling substandard fertilizers, dealers and manufacturers blamed each other. Dealers had also asked the government not to make them a party to the case because they have no control over the quality of the manufactured items, according to industry sources. ‘The amended order clarifies liability,’ an industry executive said.

Dealers to keep digital stock records

The ministry has also permitted dealers to keep digital stock records. ‘In the said Order, in sub-clause, (a) of clause 35, after the word and letter ‘Form ‘N,” the following words shall be inserted: ‘or maintain a digital stock register in the form which clearly exhibits the date wise stock position, opening balance, receipts during the day, sales during the day, and closing stock,’ according to the notification.

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According to the draft Integrated Plant Nutrition Management Bill, 2022, which was released for public comment last month, ‘any manufacturer, dealer, or retailer sells, imports for sale, or markets any fertilizer which has been defined as sub-standard under this Act in a manner that contravenes the rules by which such sub-standard fertilizers may be regularised as set out in subsection (4) of section 6, he shall be punishable with a fine which may extend up to ₹ 20 lakhs.’