The government will deal strictly with everyone involved in the “artificial shortage” of urea: PM


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said there was no urea shortage and the country produced 25,000 tons of urea daily, while those involved in creating an artificial urea shortage and other products would be dealt with with an iron fist.

Presiding over a meeting on Friday, the prime minister said the country had recorded record harvests of wheat, sugarcane, cotton and corn over the past year and that farmers earned Rs 822 billion in income. additional in fiscal year 2020-21 due to the current government’s pro-agriculture policies. Farmers buy more urea with extra income, he added.

The meeting brought together Minister of Energy Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister of Finance Shaukat Fayyaz Tarin, Minister of Industry Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister of Information Ch Fawad Hussain, Minister of National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, MOS on Information & Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, SAPM on Political Communication Dr Shehbaz Gill and relevant senior officers.

The Prime Minister said: “The government is focused on providing adequate amounts of fertilizer for maximum wheat production to ensure food security.”

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“The availability of fertilizer for farmers, especially in the next three weeks, is very crucial to have a bumper wheat crop,” he added. He called on the provincial chief secretaries to tackle the hoarding, smuggling and buying of urea by middlemen outside the fertilizer supply chain through the district administrative authorities. He also called on all relevant authorities to work with all stakeholders to ensure adequate supply of urea to farmers in order to achieve record wheat production this year.

Separately, in a press conference with the owners of the fertilizer industries, Federal Minister of Industry and Production Khusro Bakhtyar said on Friday that the government had provided a subsidy of Rs 400 billion for the development of the agricultural sector and ensured an uninterrupted supply of gas to the fertilizer industry to help promote the country’s agricultural production.

The federal minister said the government has also launched a web portal to monitor urea production and supply.

He said the names, locations and truck numbers of dealers had been entered into the “tracing system” by manufacturers in real time to help monitor the transport of fertilizer. The government was taking all these measures to control the smuggling of bags of urea, he added.

“All the deputy commissioners have access to their district data and the ground staff approach the dealers and verify the amount on arrival. Once the urea arrives, it is sold at a rate controlled by the dealers under the supervision of the district administration / Agri, ”he added.

He said that in the international market urea was sold at a price of Rs 11,000 per bag while in Pakistan the price per bag was only Rs 1,800.

The minister said that two million bags of urea-based fertilizer had already arrived at the port and that, if necessary, more fertilizer would be imported.

He said the tender in line with the government’s import decision was issued by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan on October 22, 2021 and opened on November 22, 2021.
He said the Chinese government has offered 100,000 tons of urea from government to government.

“The Cabinet Economic Coordination Committee has approved the import which would arrive February 10-25, 2022 and, therefore, there will be a large inventory in February-March 2022.”

Khusro said that due to effective actions and prompt management, there was no pressure on urea prices as it would remain stable, adding that wheat planting had been completed in the areas. irrigated from Punjab and Sindh.

The minister said that due to the prevailing rainy period, demand is expected to be lower until January 9, 2022 and during the rainy period from January 6 to 9, the daily shipment of fertilizer remained at 19 000 tons.

He said the supply would be increased from January 10 to 31 to 22,000 tonnes per day.

He said current demand was mostly panic-driven and fueled by middlemen who historically were not part of the urea supply chain.

He said farmers should make sure they get a sufficient amount of urea at a controlled price in January, February and March.

“Farmers are urged not to engage in panic buying and to avoid purchasing urea to be used in February and March, as this will prevent the country from rising prices and an unnecessary struggle for urea in a long queue, “he added.

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