The government and fertilizer companies on Friday reached an agreement to reduce the price of urea from Rs 1900 per bag to Rs 1786 per bag with immediate effect after a successful four hours parleys. Fertilizer companies had increased urea prices under the garb of increase in prices of gas from January 1, 2014. The government side was led by Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, who was assisted by Federal Minister for National Food, Security and Research Sikandar Bosan and Federal Minister for Petroleum and National Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The meeting also decided fertilizer companies shall print the prices of urea on the bags with effect from March 1, 2014. Fertilizer companies resisted the decision initially but later on bowed down before the pressure. Finance Minister is of the view that that impact of GIDC needs to be calculated exactly on production of local fertilizer. Officials apprised that the impact of GIDC is about Rs 150 per bag.
“There is no justification of increase in prices forthwith whereas its impact would be affected in coming months, an increase in prices at this juncture tantamount to reap windfall gains on the existing stock,” the sources quoted Finance Minister as saying. It would be pertinent to mention here that the fertilizer companies had increased the prices of urea on January 1, 2014, which was taken notice by the ECC in its meeting held on Wednesday January 8, 2014.
Recently, National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML) a subsidiary of the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoI&P) also proposed increase in the prices of imported urea to minimise the price gap between local and imported urea. However, the company did not stress on the proposal after witnessing the rowdy scenes in the meeting. Finance Minister thanked the fertilizer companies for their understanding and co-operation and assured them of all support as part of government”s policy to support business, trade and industry in the country.
The meeting was attended by Federal Secretaries of Finance, Food Security, Petroleum and Natural Resources, Advisor on Finance and senior government officials, Ruhail Mohammad, CEO-Engro Fertilizer, Shahbaz Khan Manager Engro Fertilizer, Akram Durrani CEO Dawood Chemical, Moeez-ur-Rehman GM (Finance) Dawood Chemical, Lieutenant General Naeem Khalid Lodhi (Retd) CEO-FFCL, Shakeel Ahmad GM-FFCL, Aman Mir Sr. Manager-FFCL, M. Faisal Muzamal GM-AgriTech, Zahid Aziz Resident Manager AgriTech, Iftikhar Baig Pak Arab fertilizer, Fazal Ahmad Shaikh Fatima Fertilizer and Syed Aamir Ahsan MD-FFBL.