Mandaviya takes charge as chemicals and fertilizers minister

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New Delhi, Jul 9 (PTI) Mansukh Mandaviya took charge as the chemicals and fertilizers minister on Friday.

Mandaviya, a BJP leader from Gujarat's Saurashtra region, replaced D V Sadananda Gowda, who was dropped from the Council of Ministers in the cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Mandaviya had taken charge as the health and family welfare minister.

'Mansukh Mandaviya took over as the Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers here today. The Minister was welcomed by the Secretaries and senior officials of the Ministry,' an official statement said.

Mandaviya was on Wednesday elevated to the Cabinet rank from minister of state (MoS). He was holding the independent charge of the Shipping Ministry and was MoS for the Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry.

The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has three departments -- Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals; Department of Fertilizers; and Department of Pharmaceuticals.

Controlling prices of DAP and other non-urea fertilizers, implementation of direct benefit transfer (DBT) of subsidy to farmers, revival of sick urea plants, and reducing India's dependence on imports of crop nutrients are some of the challenges that Mandaviya will have to focus on immediately.

The role of pharmaceutical department has become more important as the pandemic continues to affect the health and economic activities in the country.

He will have his hands full in ensuring the continuous and uninterrupted supply of essential medicines, raw materials and medical devices.

Expanding the network of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in the country is another key focus area of the Modi government Mandaviya has been an important young face in the Narendra Modi government.

He was first inducted in the Union cabinet as MoS for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Chemicals and Fertilizers on July 5, 2016.

On May 30, 2019, he was again sworn in as MoS for Chemicals and Fertilizers, with independent charge of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. PTI MJH MJH ABM ABM

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