New Delhi: The government on Wednesday decided to implement energy norms specified under the new urea policy of 2015 in the case of 11 urea production units from April and to keep these norms in force for five years from April 2020.

At a meeting of the cabinet committee on economic affairs, it was also decided to extend present energy norms with token penalties for two years in the case of 14 units that failed to meet the targets. The idea of implementing energy norms in the fertilizer sector is to make sure that production of the subsidised commodity is carried out at the optimum cost.

The cabinet also decided to allow three naphtha-based units to carry on with existing energy norms for another two years or till they get gas pipeline connectivity.

“The extension of present energy norms for a further period of two years will ensure easy availability of urea to farmers throughout the country. It will also help to maximize the indigenous urea production and will lessen the import of urea," said an official statement.

Energy efficient urea manufacturing units will reduce the carbon footprint and will be more environment friendly, the statement added.

Government oversight on cost of production is now limited to only a few areas such as fertilizer production where subsidy is involved. Over a period of years, the government has also reduced the scope of cost auditing of different sectors of the economy as competition in the market is expected to make businesses organise their operations in the most efficient manner.