ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Industries and Production (MoI&P) has approached the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for seeking exemption from Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules to republish tender to import 0.1 million tons of urea till fetching of a low price during the Rabi season 2021-22.
Official documents reveal that Ministry of Industries and Production submitted a summary on the measures to address shortage of urea fertilizer during Rabi Season 2021-22 with the proposal that SNGPL-based plants may be operated for a further two months, i.e., Dec-21 and Jan-22 with immediate restoration of gas supplies or import of 200,000 MT may be allowed to meet the demand of urea fertilizer during Rabi Season 2021-22.
The ECC while considering the summary accorded approval for operations of SNGPL-based plants for a further period of two months, i.e., Dec-21and Jan-22 and further directed M/o Industries and Production to make an assessment of demand and supply of urea and DAP fertilizers, in consultation with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and submit proposals/recommendation to the ECC.
The meeting under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission was held on September 29, 2021 during which demand and supply for urea and DAP fertilizer was discussed and following recommendations were agreed to be put forth before the ECC of the Cabinet: (i) for the month of Oct-Dec 2021, SSGCL should ensure provision of 63MMCFD gas to Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited FFBL (possibly by cutting down demand from some other sector); (ii) for the month of Jan-2022, SSGCL may be directed to ensure provision of system gas/RLNG and if RLNG is to be opted, then differential for RLNG price and the negotiated gas price to be paid by FFBL, shall be borne by GoP, working; and (iii) for market signalling, a tender for import of 100,000 MT of urea may be floated. However, decision to accept or reject tender may be taken by ECC at the tender opening stage.
The sources said in order to implement the decision, PPRA was requested to give exemptions of Rule 13 and 35 to Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) for procuring urea from abroad; however, PPRA stated that the Ministry of Industries and Production is recommended to adopt open competitive bidding process for procurement.
In line with the reply from PPRA, TCP floated the tender for import of urea on October 22, 2021 which would open on November 22, 2021. The tender is subject to acceptance or rejection by the ECC of the Cabinet.
The Ministry has proposed that PPRA may be directed to give exemption of Rule 13, 35, 38 and 40 to Trading Corporation of Pakistan for publishing a second tender advertisement for import of 100,000 MT of urea, enabling TCP to republish the tender till fetching of a low price during the Rabi Season 2021-22.
The ECC, which is scheduled to meet with Omar Ayub Khan in the chair on Monday (today) will consider the proposal of the MoI&P.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021