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October 23, 2015

Growers criticise govt for not subsidising urea prices


October 23, 2015

LAHORE: Growers have criticised the government for not granting subsidy to urea, which has the highest consumption during sowing season, in its recently announced farm package.
Jamshad Iqbal Cheema, chairman at Agriculture Scientist Association said that the major flawed in the government package is that it has ignored urea fertiliser.
“Intake of urea fertiliser in wheat crop is one-third of the total intake in Pakistan,” Cheema said. “In fact, the government has burdened the farmers rather than subsidising them.”
Recently, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research announced subsidies for farmers on the purchase of Diammonium phosphate (DAP) and nitro phosphorus fertilisers.
The subsidy includes a one-time Rs500/50 kilogram DAP bag and Rs218/bag for nitro phosphorous. The government allocated a total of Rs20 billion as subsidy on fertilisers.
Cheema said the government has already taken Rs10 billion extra from farmers by imposing gas infrastructure development cess (GIDC) on urea manufacturers, which increased the per bag price by Rs200.
He said the total intake of urea fertiliser in Pakistan is 150 million bags of 50 kg each, while Rs200/bag price was increased after the imposition of the GIDC on urea fertiliser’s producers. The government has put Rs30 billion burden on the farmers while giving Rs20 billion in subsidies, he added.
Haji Ramzan, Central Information Secretary at Kisan Board Pakistan said the prime minister’s package is full of flaws.
Ramzan said the subsidy is only applicable on DAP and nitro-phosphorus prices, which is a clear indication of injustice and biased approach of the government.
Urea is used three times more than DAP and nitro-phosphorus fertilizers in Pakistan, he said.
The government is taking more money in return of subsidies as urea price has been increased.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan promised to bring the prices of urea back to their previous rates but so far

no progress has been seen on that, Ramzan said.
He urged the government to bring the rates of urea fertilisers down to their previous level as per the announcement of the Prime Minister without any delay to provide actual relief to the farmers.
“Only then the farmers can improve their per acre growth and contribute towards the progress of the country,” he said.
He added that the urea price can be decreased if the government brings down the gas price for fertiliser sector or revoke the GIDC imposed on the producers.

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