The Ministry is considering all possible options available to ensure plentiful and timely availability of urea – Mr. Aziz Ahmad Bilour, Federal Secretary Ministry of Industries
Islamabad: Mr. Aziz Ahmad Bilour, Federal Secretary Ministry of Industries has said that the Ministry is considering all possible options available to ensure plentiful and timely availability of urea in every nook and corner of the country for the Rabbi season so that agriculture, which is the mainstay in our economy, may flourish.
Mr. Bilour expressed these views while chairing a meeting in the Ministry of Industries regarding the demand and supply of urea and its likely import. The meeting was attended by Nasir Mehmood Khosa Chief Secretary Punjab, Mr. Agha Nadeem Additional Secretary Industries and representatives of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Sui Northern and Sui Southern Gas Companies.
The meeting re-calculated the urea ‘gap’ due to gas curtailment and decided that the Ministry of Industries (MOI) would immediately submit a summary to the ECC for import of 0.7 to 1.2 million tons of Urea in staggered imports of 300,000 tons in October, November and the remaining in early December, 2011.
The MOI would approach the Cabinet Division for early convening of ECC meeting so that the issue of import of urea may be resolved at the earliest. The Trading Corporation of Pakistan was asked to do its spade work immediately while approval of ECC was being obtained for the import of urea to ensure timely and fast track import.
It was informed that 190,000 tons more urea was imported for Khareef 2011 i.e. a total of 375,000 tons for khareef 2011. This was under import and was acting as strategic reserve to ensure that the pipe line to the market till Rabbi did not dry.
The representatives of Petroleum and NR division, Sui Northern and Sui Southern informed that the fertilizer plants on Mari network are subjected to 12% gas curtailment and plants on SNGPL network are subjected to 20% gas curtailment.
He also reported that 70-80% gas would be available in Nov 2011 for fertilizer industry but due to augmented demand in winter season, the supply to fertilizer industry will remain suspended for two months. Therefore, import of urea before the start of the Rabbi season remains the only viable option to plug in the gap between demand and supply and to shun hoarders and speculators to create panic in the market.
The Additional Secretary MoI said that numerous letters had been written to provinces to check speculation and hoarding in khareef. He stressed that while urea was being imported to meet the country’s demand, it was also incumbent upon provinces to take adequate measures to discourage hoarding and speculation. The Chief Secretary
Punjab assured all possible measures in this regard.
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