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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Industries and Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar has urged the Sindh government to action against fertilizer dealers.

According to the Minister, Sindh-based fertilizer dealers had purchased an extra 125,000 tons of urea as compared to last year, similarly dealers from peripheral areas of Punjab (adjacent to Sindh) bought 50,000 tons of urea extra as compared to last year for hoarding purpose. He regretted that unfortunately due to severe negligence of Sindh government, these stocks couldn’t be moved to food-bowl areas of Punjab; thus threatening the Rabi farming season which is matter of our national food security. He reiterated that Sindh government should take measures against hoarders on basis of data of suspected hoarders in Sindh provided by the federal government.

Furthermore, the Minister announced that a new enactment to reward whistle-blowers was being promulgated to check hoarding and profiteering, by which, a maximum of Rs 5 million will be awarded to those who will provide credible and actionable information about hoarding of fertilisers to the government.

Moreover, the minister said there is an ample amount of urea is available for Rabi season as the government has arranged for additional production of 2,25,000 tons over last year by extending the operations of Northern plants and FFBL till February. In addition to these measures, the government is finalizing import of urea which will reach in Karachi by mid-December for maintaining buffer stocks of urea.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting on fertilizer supply position, where the he lauded the efforts of Ministry of Industries and Production, Punjab government and cooperation from fertilizer Companies for making collective efforts to reduce prices of urea by 400 rupees in one week. Since the consumption of urea is higher in Punjab hence action taken by the government has also reduced the prices charged by dealers in Sindh.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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