Price of per bag of urea increased by 191 percent in the tenure of present government and touched Rs 1,750 per bag during current fiscal year from Rs 600 per bag in 2008, official document revealed. A presentation made by the Industries Ministry to the National Assembly Standing Committee, copy of which is made available to Business Recorder revealed that there had been massive increase in the price of urea from 2010 onwards.
The price of urea bag was Rs 875 in June 2010 from where it jumped to Rs 1,400 in June 2011 after registering an increase of Rs 525 per bag. The subsequent year, the urea price increased to Rs 1,750, which means an increase of Rs 350 per bag. The presentation also mentioned that with the privatisation of all fertiliser units of National Fertiliser Corporation (NFC), the control of government on prices of fertilisers especially urea became weak. As a result, the prices started going up rapidly and increased by 191 percent during last five years.
The price of urea bag in December 2012 was recorded at Rs 1,650 which was claimed to be sold at Rs 1,600 per bag by the National Fertiliser Marketing Company (NFML), tasked by the government to monitor distribution of the entire quantity of imported urea.
On a presentation about the performance of the NFML, the meeting was informed that NFML transported a huge quantity of imported urea weighing 722,000 tons during Rabi 2011-12 and claimed that historically such a huge quantity has never been lifted in such a short span of time. During Rabi 2011-12, highest recorded dispatch in a day was of 18,998 M Tons through Gwadar Port.
Storage network has been strengthened by hiring 58 stores at different locations in all four provinces. The NFML in order to facilitate the rain/flood effected areas of Sindh, dispatched urea to government of Sindh on priority. Special efforts were made to supply urea to all provinces according to the earmarked share. The meeting was informed that the marketing operation of NFML is carried out through countrywide network of dealers. At present, NFML has 3,246 dealers to deliver the imported urea to the farmers at their doorsteps.