Pakistan. Reduction in price of urea fertilizer: Ministry to seek ECC's approval

23.09.2016

Ministry of Industries and Production has decided to seek approval of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet for further reduction in price of urea fertilizer to off load 1.5 million tons stock. Senior Joint Secretary Arif Ibrahim informed the Senate Standing Committee of Ministry of Industries and Production chaired by Senator Hidaytullah Thursday that no one was ready to purchase urea at existing price of Rs 1310.

"We are taking a summary for further slash in price of Urea to sell remaining stock of Urea imported in 2015 lower than Rs 1310". He said there was considerable increase in the production of Urea after the import of LNG and its availability to the fertilizer plants. A member of the committee pointed out that the government has imposed ban on import of Urea and as a result farmers are unable to take advantage of low international prices of the commodity. "imported Urea will cost the farmers at Rs 800 whereas the local price of Urea is Rs 1400" he said and Senior Joint Secretary acknowledged that international price of Urea was considerably lower than the local price but stated " it was temporary phenomena".

Managing Director National Fertilizer Marketing Company Limited informed the committee that NFML is a profitable organization operating with 84 employees as an intervention instrument against cartelization of fertilizer companies in the sector. He said the government imports urea and markets it through the NFML to stabilize the prices in case of their undue increase in the local market. The meeting was further informed that NFML market urea is imported through trading corporation of Pakistan through its marketing and distribution system as well as dealers network of over 2400 dealers in the four provinces with highest number over 1900 in Punjab.

Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation informed the committee that 116 cases are under investigation regarding embezzlement of Rs 356 million in Quetta during the period of 2009-2014. The meeting was informed these cases are being investigated by the FIA Quetta. The committee decided to put off the agenda item and decided to call FIA and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to take briefing from them as both the agencies are investigating the case before giving recommendations.

The MD USC said that various measures are being taken including quarterly stock taking for regular up-gradation of the inventory to deal with such fraud and embezzlement. The meeting also deferred the accounts of 2013-14 to 2014-15 as accounts for 2014-15 are at the final stage and would be presented to the Board meeting on October 2018 and after then these would be shared with the committee.


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