Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said the government has devised a comprehensive mechanism for the distribution of urea with the help of district administration that will ensure the availability of urea fertilizer to farmers at the control rate.
The premier made these remarks while chairing a high-level meeting on fertilizer issues. He said that the government is taking strict anti-smuggling and anti-hoarding measures to curb illicit profiteering from urea distribution across the country.
He said that increased indigenous production has led to the availability of urea fertilizer to farmers at a 5 times cheaper rate compared to prices in the international market.
The meeting was given a detailed briefing on urea production, its distribution across the country, monitoring mechanism to curb hoarding and smuggling and the price differential between Pakistan and the international market including regional countries.
The meeting was briefed that the urea production in the three-year tenure of the government surpassed 6.1 million tons (440,000 bags per day) which before 2018 never crossed 5.5 million tons (370,000 bags per day). This was achieved due to the government’s policies, including an uninterrupted supply of gas to urea plants.
In addition to that, due to Prime Minister’s vision to prioritize food security, a robust system to monitor fertilizer supply and demand with constant monitoring has been put in place that has led to the resolution of issues on daily basis. Except for Sindh, with a production of 90 percent and verification of 23 percent, all other provinces have been ensuring verification on Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) Portal.
The meeting was given details regarding anti-smuggling operations and the number of bags confiscated at the border crossing by authorities. The meeting was also briefed on other factors responsible for creating hurdles in plugging the demand and supply gap in the urea sector, such as panic buying by farmers, buying by people other than farmers to sell at a premium, increased cultivation by farmers due to increased incomes in the last produce.
A comprehensive plan was also presented in the meeting which after implementation will ensure smooth distribution of urea fertilizer at the union council level under the monitoring of district administration, agricultural department and revenue department.
The premier directed to implement the plan immediately stating that facilitation of the small farmers is among the top priorities of the government.
The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers Shaukat Fayyaz Tarin, Fawad Chaudhary, Hammad Azhar, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiyar, Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for State Farrukh Habib, Special Advisor to Prime Minister (SAPM) Dr. Shehbaz Gill, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, stakeholders from fertilizer industry and concerned officials.