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PM Chairs High Level Meeting on Fertilizer Issues

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday presided over a high-level meeting on fertilizer issues, which was given a detailed briefing on urea production, its distribution across the Country, monitoring mechanism to curb hoarding and smuggling, and the price differential between Pakistan and international market including regional Countries.

The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers Shaukat Tarin, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Hammad Azhar, Khusro Makhdum Bakhtyar, Syed Fakhar Imam, the Minister for State Farrukh Habib, and the Special Assistant Shahbaz Gill, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, stakeholders from the fertilizer industry, and concerned officials.

The meeting was briefed that the urea production in the three-year tenure of the government surpassed 6.1 million tons, 440,000 bags per day which prior to 2018 never crossed 5.5 million tons, 370,000 bags per day.

This was achieved due to the government’s policies including an unhindered supply of gas to urea plants.

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In addition to that due to the prime minister’s vision to prioritize food security, a robust system to monitor fertilizer supply and demand with constant monitoring has been put in place that has led to the resolution of issues on daily basis.

It was told that except Sindh, with a production of 90% and verification of 23%, all other provinces have been ensuring verification on the PITB Portal.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government has devised a comprehensive mechanism for the distribution of urea with the help of the district administration that will ensure the availability of urea fertilizer to farmers at the control rate.

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The prime minister said that the government is taking strict anti-smuggling and anti-hoarding measures to curb illicit profiteering from urea distribution across Pakistan.

Imran Khan said that the increased indigenous production has led to urea fertilizer availability to farmers at a five times cheaper rate compared to prices in the international market.

The meeting was also given details regarding anti-smuggling operations and the number of bags confiscated at the border crossing by authorities.

The meeting was also briefed on other factors responsible for creating hurdles in plugging the demand & supply gap in the urea sector such as panic buying by farmers, buying by people other than farmers to sell at a premium, increased cultivation by farmers due to increased incomes in the last produce.

A comprehensive plan was also presented in the meeting which after the implementation will ensure smooth distribution of urea fertilizer at the UC level under the monitoring of district administration, agricultural department, and revenue department.

The prime minister directed to implement the plan immediately, saying that facilitation of the small farmers is among the topmost priorities of the government.

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