With reference to chemical fertilizers in India, consider the following statements:
- At present, the retail price of chemical fertilizers is market-driven and not administered by the Government.
- Ammonia, which is an input of urea, is produced from natural gas.
- Sulphur, which is a raw material for phosphoric acid fertilizer, is a by-product of oil refineries.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2020 Prelims]
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
- Statement 1 is incorrect because the Union Government provides subsidies to urea manufacturing units for transportation costs to ensure that the product is available at a uniform maximum retail price throughout the country. Additionally, the government also subsidizes fertilizers to make them accessible at reasonable prices for agricultural purposes.
- On the other hand, statement 2 is correct since urea production involves the combination of ammonia (NH3) and gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2) under high pressure and temperature.
- Statement 3 is also correct as Sulphur is obtained as a by-product during natural gas processing and refining of high-sulfur crude oils, and it serves as a crucial ingredient for producing phosphoric acid fertilizer.
Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.