Tuesday July 23, 2024

Pakistan starts talks with Turkmenistan for import of 200,000 tonnes of urea

By Israr Khan
June 21, 2024
Federal Minister for Industries and Production Rana Tanveer Hussain visits of USC Store at Shadman on March 24, 2024. — APP
Federal Minister for Industries and Production Rana Tanveer Hussain visits of USC Store at Shadman on March 24, 2024. — APP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has commenced negotiations with Turkmenistan for the import of 200,000 tonnes urea under a government-to-government arrangement to meet the rising local demand, a senior official confirmed to The News on Thursday.

This initiative is part of Pakistan’s strategy to secure a stable supply of fertilizer essential for its agriculture sector, which heavily depends on urea. The discussions with Turkmenistan are intended to ensure a continuous flow of this critical input.

A high-level delegation, led by Federal Minister for Industries and Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, will visit Turkmenistan from June 24 to 26 to explore new avenues for bilateral trade and investment. The official indicated that the signing of a G2G deal for urea import is anticipated during this visit.

The delegation’s visit follows a preparatory meeting between Hussain and Turkmenistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Atadjan Movlamov, where they discussed the upcoming trip and strategies to enhance economic ties between the two nations.

In a related development, Islamabad has ordered a third-party audit of local fertilizer companies to determine production costs, aiming for transparency and fair pricing within the industry. Hussain announced this initiative during a Fertilizer Review Committee meeting.

“The third-party audit will help us ensure that the pricing of fertilizer is fair and transparent, benefiting both producers and consumers,” Hussain said. He also underscored the necessity of maintaining uninterrupted gas supply to the fertilizer companies to ensure consistent production. Hussain assured that there was no urea shortage in Pakistan and emphasized the need for fertilizer companies to scrutinize the performance of their dealers and agencies. Provincial authorities have been instructed to verify fertilizer dealers and agencies and blacklist any ghost entities. The minister highlighted the importance of ensuring the fertilizer supply reaches all provinces effectively. To maintain close oversight, the Fertilizer Review Committee will now convene weekly meetings to monitor the situation and make necessary adjustments.