Govt to import 1.2 million tonnes of Urea for Rabi | Pakistan Today

Govt to import 1.2 million tonnes of Urea for Rabi

The government has assessed the urea shortage of 1.2 million tonnes for the upcoming Rabi season and Ministry of Industry will approach the Economic Coordination Committee seeking approval to import urea in staggering quantities of 300,000 tonnes in October, November and in December. This was decided at a meeting chaired by Secretary Industries Aziz Ahmad Bilour to review the demand and supply of urea and its likely import. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Punjab Nasir Mehmood Khosa, Additional Secretary Industries Agha Nadeem 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 would immediately submit a summary to ECC for import of 0.7 to 1.2 million tonnes of urea in overall imports of 300,000 tonnes in October, November and the remaining in early December. The ministry 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.
Secretary Ministry of Industries said that the ministry was considering all possible options available to ensure timely availability of urea for the Rabbi season. Additional Secretary Ministry of Industries said that numerous letters had been written to provinces to check speculation and hoarding in Kharif. 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.
The representatives of Ministry of Petroleum informed that the fertiliser plants on Mari network were subject to 12 per cent gas curtailment and plants on SNGPL networks are subjected to 20 per cent gas curtailment. He also reported that 70-80 per cent gas would be available in November 2011 for fertiliser industry but due to augmented demand in winter season, the supply to fertiliser industry will remain suspended for two months. Therefore, import of urea before the start of the Rabi 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.

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