ISLAMABAD:- The Fertilizer Review Committee was told that government will import 200 thousand ton urea fertilizer to meet the possible shortage during the kharif season before June.

This was stated in the meeting under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmud.

The participants of meeting included representative of fertilizers manufacturing industry and officials from Finance Division, Petroleum Division, Ministry of Food Security and Research as well as officials of Provincial agriculture departments.

The meeting discussed the domestic production and demand of fertilizers for kharif season. The Chair was briefed that projected domestic production of urea would be 3.2 MMT from April-September 2022 whereas probability of urea off take would remain 3.4 MMT in the same period.

The forum was also told that there would be 2% increase in agronomic demand for fertilisers in this year. It was noted that the urea sales went up by 17% in last year. The forum noted that a significant part of urea’s demand would be met domestically, however, summary for urea import of 2 lac tonnes would be placed to fill the gap before demand peaks in June during the kharif sowing season.

In order to curb the hoarding and profiteering, leading to smuggling of urea across the border due to high price differential, the body decided to take up strict measures in cooperation with the law enforcement agencies, FBR and Ministry of Interior to thrawt across border trafficking of urea.

Speaking to meeting, the Minister said that the government had geared up to ensure smooth, adequate and timely supply of key soil nutrients to farmers during Kharif season and the decisions would be taken accordingly. He said that government would make all-out efforts to provide urea to farmers at affordable prices timely.

The forum also discussed the recent price hike of urea from Rs. 1768/bag to 1933/bag on average, while Engro had increased the prices upto Rs 2017/bag of urea despite government is supplying gas (approximately 80 percent constitutent of urea price) at subsidized rates.

The industry responded that prices were increased due to financial cost of holding inventory and pending payment of subsidy & refunds from government exchequer.

The Ministry noted that the government had option of conducting forensic audit which may be exercised if urea prices continue to increase during Kharif season. The Minister assured that government would address issues pertaining to payments and urged the industry to rationalize the prices immediately to support the farmers pivotal boosting agriculture productivity of the country.

By adminmy

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