May 11, 2022 (MLN): Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmud said that the government is reverting urea price to the old price i.e. Rs1768/bag to provide relief to farmers.
Commenting on the recent price hike of urea by the industry, the Minister remarked that the government would not tolerate unjustified price increases of urea. He said, however, that any justified increase in price would be notified by the government later on after consulting with the industry.
Seeking to allay the issues pertaining to fertilizer supplies during the Kharif season, the fertilizer Review Committee (FRC) met under the chairmanship of Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmud this morning. Federal Secretary for Industries and Production Mr. Jawwad Rafique Malik and senior officials of the Ministry also attended the meeting.
The participants of the meeting included representatives of the fertilizer manufacturing industry, dealers, Chief Secretary Punjab, and Secretaries of Provincial agriculture departments.
The forum discussed the domestic production and demand of fertilizer as well as prices, subsidy plan and tracking & verification mechanism of fertilizer for Kharif season in the backdrop of the Prime Minister's meeting on fertilizer. In yesterday's meeting, the Prime Minister approved the various policy measures to ensure the availability of fertilizer at affordable prices to farmers during the Kharif season.
At the onset of the meeting, agricultural departments briefed the forum that there was a 14% decline in DAP off-take in the last sowing season due to price inflation which means crops had received less application of phosphate component of fertilizer affecting crop output badly. The committee was told that there is a dire need to provide balance nutrients to the soil for excessive grain production.
Considering the price differential between urea & DAP, The Minister said that the government had decided to make subsidy payments directly to farmers immediately through the Ministry of Food Security and Provincial Governments so that DAP prices could be cooled down for farmers and this step would also ensure balance applications of nitrogen & phosphate-based fertilizer in soil by farmers. He said, however, the government would discourage the compulsive purchase of DAP to farmers along with urea by dealers recently.
The forum noted that non-registered fertilizer dealers would be brought under a verification mechanism and it had been made necessary for dealers to get registered with respective provincial departments to ensure a smooth supply of fertilizer at the district level. The manufacturers assured the registration of dealers with relevant provincial departments.
In order to curb the hoarding and smuggling, the government had decided to set up a task force under the Ministry of Interior consisting of law enforcement agencies, FBR and provincial departments to thwart cross-border trafficking of urea.
Speaking in a meeting, the Minister said that the government had geared up to implement a vehicle registration, tracking and verification system to smoothen adequate and timely supply of key soil nutrients to farmers during the Kharif season.
The Minister also assured the industry that government would address issues pertaining to outstanding payments of industry. He said that the government had restored the gas supplies to fertilizer plants as per the agreement and would continue to receive uninterrupted gas supplies for domestic production to support the farmers and the agriculture base of the country.
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