Pakistan’s government halts urea price hike to support farmers

Panorama of Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan

Pakistan’s Federal Industries and Production Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain has directed fertilizer companies to rescind a recent urea price hike. The directive came during an emergency meeting with executives from major fertilizer producers such as Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited, Engro Fertilizer Private Limited, and Fatima Fertilizer Company.

During the meeting, which also saw the participation of Secretary Industry and Production Wasim Ajmal Chaudhry, Minister Hussain firmly rejected the fertilizer companies’ reasons for the price increase, pointing out that there had been no changes in production costs that would justify such hikes. He emphasized that the government’s primary concern is to safeguard the interests of farmers, particularly in ensuring the availability of urea for the upcoming Kharif planting season.

The fertilizer companies have been given a three-day period to reverse their pricing decision, a move aimed at providing immediate relief to farmers. Additionally, Minister Hussain announced that the government has plans to import 200,000 metric tonnes of urea and might import up to 500,000 metric tonnes if necessary to meet domestic demand.

To further protect farmers from market manipulations, the Minister instructed provincial authorities to clamp down on the hoarding and illegal profiteering of urea fertilizer. He also mandated that fertilizer companies must submit their distribution plans monthly in advance and consult with all stakeholders before any future price adjustments. Hussain stressed that any increase in the price of urea without a corresponding rise in production costs is unacceptable, underscoring the government’s commitment to maintaining fair pricing in the agriculture sector.

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