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July 19, 2019

Govt to provide Rs1bln subsidy on imported fertiliser

Business

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APP
July 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Government will provide Rs1 billion in subsidies to farmers on fertiliser to be imported to meet demand of the key agriculture input for summer crops, a Prime Minister Adviser said on Thursday.

Adviser to the Prime Minister Imran Khan on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Investment Razak Dawood said the subsidy would be provided to facilitate farmers and promote agriculture sector.

“About 100,000 tons of fertiliser would be imported to overcome its shortage in the local market and contain its rising price,” Dawood said told media. In April, the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet approved import of 100,000 tons of fertiliser to avert its shortage in kharif season. The country imported 150,000 tons of urea in December last year to meet growing demand of fertiliser in the winter crops.

The PM Adviser, however, said there is a sufficient stock of urea available in the country to cater to demands of summer season. He attributed Rs10 price hike in fertiliser prices to increase in gas tariffs and prices of other inputs.

Dawood said there will be no shortage of fertilisers in the market. The government maintained fertiliser prices at Rs1,800/40 kilograms bag, while its ex-factory rate would be Rs1,890/bag after charging of commission by dealers.

On a question, he said the government would provide relief to farmers by ensuring availability of agriculture inputs, including fertilisers on affordable prices to boost agriculture yield. The adviser said the present government is cognizant of problems being faced by the farmers. “It would address their issues on priority basis.”

Dawood said the agriculture sector is playing a significant role in promoting the economy of the country and is creating employment opportunities for more than half of the country’s population. He urged the public and private sectors to enhance mutual cooperation to resolve the issues for achieving the envisioned economic goals of incumbent government.

The PM adviser further informed the media that the government would soon appoint chief executive officer of the Engineering Development Board. Meanwhile, replying to a question on Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to the United States, Dawood said that he himself would accompany the PM to participate in bilateral negotiations for further developing relations between the two countries. He said negotiations on different subjects would take place between the two countries, including trade, investment and security issue for enhancing the cooperation. He said Pakistan would also talk on trade and investment framework to exploit more potential avenues for promoting trade in different sectors.

Dawood said he would also meet the US Secretary for Trade to explore potential sectors for enhancing bilateral trade volume. He said peace in Afghanistan would also be on the agenda to ensure peace and prosperity of the whole region.

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