ECC to Relax Urea Import Rules

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet is likely to relax PPRA rules on the import of Urea through the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP).

Document available with ProPakistani stated that the ECC meeting would be held under the chair of Minister for Economic Affairs, Omer Ayub, which would consider the seven agenda items, including the relaxation of PPRA rules on the import of Urea through the TCP.

Sources said that the prices of Urea and DAP have increased rapidly in the last few days in the domestic market, due to which small farmers are facing severe difficulties in the cultivation of wheat.

Presently, Urea is selling around Rs. 2100 per bag in the market, whereas the factor rate is approximately Rs. 1750.

Similarly, the DAP fertilizer is available above Rs. 9000 per bag, while the factory rate of one DAP bag is around Rs. 8250.

Sources stated that small farmers are facing severe hurdles due to a surge in prices of Urea and DAP, and most of the small farmers, despite having a farmer card, are unable to get the subsidy announced by the federal and Punjab government.

Sources said that the provincial agriculture department of Punjab has held the subsidies files as there were reports of suspicious entries in the system.

It is pertinent to mention that the federal cabinet in the last meeting constituted a sub-committee to determine the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for wheat 2021-22 as the Ministry of National Food Security and Research had recommended Rs. 2180 as MSP for wheat to meet the production target of 29 MMT.

The fertilizer industry last month also requested the federal government for complete deregulation of the sector without gas subsidies or any other benefits because urea manufacturers are internationally competitive and can operate without any government support.

Executive Director FMPAC, Brig Sher Shah Malik, while talking to this scribe said that the fertilizer industry appreciated the action being taken by the provincial governments against those who were involved in hoarding and overcharging the farmers.

He said that the companies are reporting their daily stock position to the Ministry of Industries and Production as, during the first 10 months (January-October) of the current calendar year, 5.1 million tonnes of urea was sold as compared to 4.6 million tonnes in the same period last year.

The domestic industry has ensured 10 percent additional supplies in the market and is currently having a much lower inventory, less than 150 thousand tonnes.

He further added that to facilitate nationwide availability, these stocks are being made available at warehouses across the country as part of fertilizer supply chain management.

He claimed that Urea is domestically being supplied at Rs. 1,768 per bag while the international prices have jumped more than Rs. 10,000 per bag. In these challenging times, the industry has ensured that our farmers are shielded from global supply disruption and unprecedented international price increase.

FMPAC has requested the chief secretaries of Punjab and Sindh to exercise executive powers against the dealers involved in hoarding and profiteering.