Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmud Wednesday said that the old price of Rs. 1768 per bag of urea has been implemented to provide relief to farmers.
Chairing a meeting of the Fertilizer Review Committee (FRC), 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. He added that the government will directly provide subsidies to the farmers to purchase Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and will not allow hoarding and price hikes.
Commenting on the recent price hike of urea, the minister said that the government would not tolerate unjustified price increases of urea. The minister also assured the industry that government would address issues pertaining to the outstanding payments. He said that the government had restored the gas supplies to fertilizer plants as per the agreement and they would continue to receive uninterrupted gas supplies for domestic production to support the farmers.
The forum discussed the domestic production and demand of fertilizers as well as prices, subsidy plan, and tracking & verification mechanism of fertilizers for Kharif season in the backdrop of the Prime Minister’s meeting on fertilizer.
At the onset of the meeting, agricultural departments briefed the forum that there was a 14 percent 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 balanced nutrients to the soil for healthy 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 brought down.
The forum noted that non-registered fertilizer dealers would be brought under a verification mechanism and it has been made necessary for dealers to get registered with respective provincial departments to ensure a smooth supply of fertilizers at the district level. The manufacturers assured the registration of dealers with relevant provincial departments.
In order to curb hoarding and smuggling, the government has 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.
Federal Secretary for Industries and Production Jawwad Rafique Malik and senior officials of the Ministry attended the meeting. Other participants included the representative of the fertilizers manufacturing industry, dealers, Chief Secretary Punjab, and Secretaries of Provincial agriculture departments.