The government last week allowed private companies to import urea for preparation of complex fertilisers used in agriculture. Till now, such companies could only import urea for industrial use, in preparation of chemicals.

For agricultural purposes, private companies used to source urea from imports made by government canalising agents, such as Indian Potash Ltd and state trading houses MMTC and STC. Two Indian companies, Coromondal International and Zuari Industries, are allowed to import urea for agricultural purposes. Now, these companies can directly import without involving canalising agents, official sources said.