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ISLAMABAD: The federal government has allowed import of 0.2 million metric tons of urea on G2G and deferred payment basis, official sources told Business Recorder.

Sharing the details, sources said that the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoI&P) informed the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on May 16, 2022 that Fertilizer Review Committee (FRC) while reviewing demand/supply position of urea fertilizer in the country during Kharif season 2022 in its meeting held on April 25, 2022, observed that the national inventory for urea fertilizer would be below buffer stock level from June onwards, therefore, the government should consider import of 0.2 million metric tons of urea from international market, which would enable the government to have stocks in hand and would act as deterrent against the factors causing uncertainty in the market for urea fertilizer.

Ministry of Industries and Production proposed that in view of recommendation of FRC, Trading corporation of Pakistan (TCP) may be allowed to explore the possibility of import of 0.2 million metric tons of urea on G2G basis and to float tender of the same quantity to be imported from abroad, simultaneously.

It was further proposed that PPRA may be requested to consider grant of exemption to TCP from Rule 8,9,13,35,38 and 40 of PPRA Rules, which would shorten the timeline for procurement of urea and would ensure maintaining buffer stock for urea fertilizer during Kharif season.

Disbursement of PDCs to OMCs/refineries: Rs55.5bn suppl. grant approved by ECC

The ECC held threadbare discussion on the matter. The Cabinet Division pointed out that views of the PPRA, Commerce Division and the Finance Division were not reflected in the summary. The secretary, Industries and Production informed that National Food Security and Research Division had supported the proposed import of urea.

The secretary, Finance Division was of view that financial implication involved for importing the proposed quantity of urea was not mentioned in the summary. It was further added that as agriculture was a devolved subject, therefore, provinces should be involved in the above matter with reference to sharing of cost amount with federal government.

After discussion the ECC approved import of 0.2 million metric tons of urea on G2G basis with stipulation that the procurement shall be made on deferred payment basis.

The federal Cabinet, in its meeting held on Tuesday has ratified the decision of the ECC taken on May 16, 2022.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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