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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has been informed that closure of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) based fertilizer plant will result in loss of production of urea. A meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee held on Wednesday was informed that it is assumed that LNG based plants will run till end January 2022 and additional gas will be provided to Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited (FFB). The meeting was further informed that closure of FFBL plant will result in loss in production by two thousand tonnes per day.

The meeting was provided a comparison of fertilizer situation and informed that the total availability of urea in rabbi crop 2020-21 was 3.494 million tonnes while off-take was 3.244 million tonnes, leaving the opening inventory at 0.278 million tons.

However, the off-take of urea for rabbi 2021-22 has been estimated 3.195 million tons compared to availability of stock of the commodity, 3.156, leaving the inventory in negative -0.041 million tonnes. The meeting was further informed that the government did not import urea, However, domestic production of the commodity is estimated at 3.040 million tons compared to 3.021 million tons in rabbi 2020-21.

On the wheat situation the meeting was informed what stocks as on 11-01-2022 4.274 MMT with imported quantity arrival 1,371 MMT, while remaining import out of 1.910 MMT by TCP.

The meeting was informed that current decisions of the meeting included direction that Ministry of NFS&R in consultation with all stakeholders to assess the province-wise wheat requirement along with its stock position and ensure sufficient availability of wheat till mid of April fiscal year 2022.

The meeting was further informed that NFS&R was asked that in consultation with provincial governments to share the progress made on establishment of commodity warehouses, agri-malls and cold storages under the Agriculture Transformation Plan in the NPMC on weekly basis.

The NPMC decision was that Ministry of Industries & Production to devise and immediately execute the media strategy to build narrative on sufficient availability of fertilizers to restore farmers’ confidence and to prevent its panic buying and in consultation with relevant stakeholders to workout a plan for re-structuring the pricing mechanism of fertilizers along with long term strategy on its supply and price management.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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