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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar on Tuesday assured farmers that the country had produced ample urea fertiliser for their use and advised them against panic buying.
“Urea price per bag in the international market is around Rs 11000 while that in Pakistan is only Rs 1800, therefore the huge difference is tempting the local dealers and profiteers to hoard urea in bulk,” he said while addressing a press conference here along with Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam.
The minister said that last year during the Rabi season, approximately three million metric tonnes of urea was produced. “The production for this year’s Rabi season, which will conclude on March 31, will be approximately 3.3 million metric tonnes, an increase of 11pc as compared to last year,” he added.
Bakhtiar added that this was only possible because the government had decided to revise the merit order for supplying gas and brought the fertiliser industry at par with the export sector.
He announced that the federal government and the provinces had formed a monitoring mechanism under which it was keeping a track of urea being dispatched. “Every truck number, the amount of fertiliser bags it has, which district it is going to and the dealer’s number is being monitored,” he added.
The minister further said that Punjab had monitored 88pc of this data on a daily basis, but lamented the fact that there was no data coming from Sindh. “The dealer can’t keep this stock for too long, he will suffer a loss. Please do not resort to panic buying,” he said.
He added that he would share the data of each factory’s monthly production capacity. “Dealers are trying to exploit farmers there is a urea shortage in the world but the production in Pakistan increased by 11pc,” he added.
According to an earlier report, traders and hoarders have jacked up rates of urea feriliser to Rs2,300 per bag, blatantly flouting government directives of selling the commodity at Rs1,768.
Last week, the weekly fertiliser review meeting noted that punitive measures undertaken against hoarders and profiteers had resulted in significant reduction in urea price, bringing it close to the notified rate of Rs1,768 per bag.