Pakistan Agriculture News

Awaiting subsidy, industry threatens to stop urea production

LAHORE: Fertiliser manufacturers are considering stopping urea sales next month if outstanding subsidy claims are not cleared by the end of November in accordance with the directive of the Prime Minister’s Office, say industry players.

According to them, key players of the domestic fertiliser industry are facing a financial strain as the government has failed to live up to its commitment of timely disbursing the long-delayed subsidy claims amounting to over Rs15 billion.

Fertiliser producers would not be able to continue with the government subsidy scheme and capping of prices, if the subsidy was not released and the attraction of price hike was denied, they said.

Apart from this, a halt to gas supply to three of the fertiliser plants is also likely to cause a dent in urea production.

Any shortage of urea in the ongoing wheat sowing season is feared to affect the farming community. Pakistan is the world’s third largest wheat-growing country which harvests more than 25 million tons of the staple annually, ensuring national food security.

At this crucial stage, the supply of fertilisers was imperative to achieve maximum per acre yield of wheat and other essential crops, the industry players said.

They pointed out that the Ministry of National Food Security and Research had not been able to expedite release of the subsidy payable to the fertiliser companies. Owing to procedural delays, it is feared that farmers may face urea shortage in this crucial sowing period for the agricultural sector.

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