close
Monday June 17, 2024

Fertilizer companies seek three-day time to revisit urea price hike

Fertilizer manufacturers made this request in response to government’s firm stance against the price-hike

By Israr Khan
May 01, 2024
This picture shows a man holding a sack of urea fertilizer. — AFP/File
This picture shows a man holding a sack of urea fertilizer. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Fertilizer manufacturers Tuesday sought three days time to reconsider their decision to increase the prices of urea.

The fertilizer manufacturers made this request in response to government’s firm stance against the price-hike.

The appeal for time came under governmental pressure following a marked price rise in the vital agricultural input.

On April 26, the government had warned of intervention over a “unilateral” urea price-hike by the manufacturers and asked for justification for the increase despite no corresponding rise in the input costs. Manufacturers had increased the prices of urea to over Rs550/bag.

Federal Minister for Industry and Production Rana Tanveer Hussain had directed the fertilizer companies to retract the uptick in urea prices. He convened a meeting with representatives from major fertilizer companies to address the price surge. Secretary of Industry and Production Wasim Ajmal was also present.

The manufacturers tried to convince the government but failed. The minister rejected their justification for the price increase, citing no change in the production costs. He said government’s top priority is to protect farmers’ interests and to ensure uninterrupted supply of urea during Kharif season.

The fertilizer companies sought three days to reverse the decision for relief to farmers.

The minister said government has decided to import 200,000 metric tons of urea. 500,000 metric tons would be imported if needed to meet local demands, he added.

He directed all the provinces to stop hoarding and illegal profiteering of urea fertilizer, saying fertilizer companies share urea fertilizer distribution plans every month in advance.

The minister asked fertilizer companies to consult all the stakeholders before increasing prices. “An increase in price of urea fertilizer without increase in the cost of production is not acceptable”, he said.