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Import of urea starts for building strategic reserves of fertiliser

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ISLAMABAD – The government has started to import urea to bridge the local shortage in the country, as the tender for import of 100,000 MT of urea has been advertised. 

On a summary moved by the Ministry of Industries and Production, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has recently approved a tender for import of 100,000 MT of urea for building strategic reserves of urea fertilizer during the Rabi season 2021-22. Projected requirement of urea fertiliser is estimated at around 3.2 MMT for Rabi season 2021-22. However, urea demand would be met by domestic production. According to the Ministry of Industries and Production, domestic production of urea fertilizers would slash the urea imports thus will have huge relief on import bill and balance of payments. Moreover, it will ensure availability of fertiliser for farmers at affordable prices. However, the government is importing 100,000 MT of urea for building strategic reserves. Shaukat Tarin presided over the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet. 

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has chaired a meeting on fertilizer at Finance Division. Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production briefed the meeting about the demand and supply situation of fertilizer in the country. Supply of gas to SNGPL based urea plants will assure production of additional 300,000 MT till January 2022. The government is firmly committed to ensure maximum gas supply to all fertilizer units including Pak Arab and FFBL. He further stated that the tender for import of 100,000 MT of Urea has also been advertised. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue expressed satisfaction on urea availability and directed the gas companies to streamline supply of gas to the fertilizer units for smooth production of fertilizer. He further directed all the stakeholders to evolve consensus on matters related to sales tax refund and GIDC payments on fast track basis. 

Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, Secretary Ministry of Petroleum Division, Additional Secretary Ministry of Finance and other senior officials participated in the meeting. The official documents showed that the urea off-take during August 2021 was 649 thousand tonnes showing an increase of 13.1 percent over August 2020. Whereas, DAP offtake was 187 thousand tonnes, which decreased by 36.8 percent over same time frame last year. 

The documents showed that agriculture sector growth has improved in current fiscal year. Preliminary estimates of important Kharif crops 2021 reported the production of sugarcane increased to 87.7 million tonnes from 81.0 million tonnes of last year’s production witnessing an increase of 8.2 percent. Rice production is estimated at 8.8 million tonnes, showing an increase of 5.0 percent over last year’s production of 8.4 million tonnes. Maize production is estimated at 9.0 million tonnes and increased by 0.8 percent compared to 8.9 million tonnes of last year. The cotton production witnessed an increase of 19.8 percent to 8.5 million bales against last year’s production level of 7.1 million bales 

The preliminary production estimates of major Kharif Crops 2021 are encouraging as reviewed in the 17th meeting of Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) held on October 7th, 2021. The inputs availability will remain satisfactory as more certified seeds for wheat and other crops will be ensured for upcoming Rabi 2021-22 season, thus it is expected that in the absence of any adverse climate shock, agriculture sector will surpass its target of 3.5 percent.




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