Pakistan orders third-party audit of fertilizer companies

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The Ministry of Industries and Production of Pakistan has mandated a third-party audit of fertilizer companies aiming to ensure transparency and fair pricing within the fertilizer industry. Federal Minister for Industries and Production Rana Tanveer Hussain announced the decision, which focuses on determining the production costs at these companies.

During a meeting of the Fertilizer Review Committee (FRC) in Islamabad, Minister Hussain emphasized the importance of this audit in promoting fair practices. The committee, which also reviewed the current stock of urea alongside the demand and supply dynamics, includes high-ranking officials such as the Federal Secretary of Industries and Production, Dr. Muhammad Fakhre Alam Irfan.

The minister reassured that there is no shortage of urea fertilizer in the country, attributing this to the uninterrupted supply of gas to fertilizer companies, which is essential for continuous production. Moreover, the government has decided to cease providing subsidized gas to the fertilizer industry, aiming to streamline operations and costs.

Minister Hussain also called on fertilizer companies to critically assess the performance of their dealers and agencies. He instructed provincial authorities to verify these entities, ensuring that any fraudulent or ‘ghost’ dealers are identified and blacklisted, thereby safeguarding the distribution channels.

In efforts to closely monitor the situation, the FRC will now convene weekly meetings. These sessions will focus on maintaining a balance between supply and demand for fertilizers across the country.

The meeting further disclosed that despite a 3.6 percent increase in urea demand over the previous year, Pakistan is well-prepared for the upcoming Kharif planting season. With a projected demand of approximately 3.442 million tons and available stock of about 3.192 million tons, the shortfall will be addressed by importing 200,000 tons of urea and boosting local production.

These measures are part of a broader strategy to ensure that the fertilizer supply chain remains robust and that pricing mechanisms reflect the actual production costs, benefiting both farmers and the agricultural sector at large.

Source: Business Recorder

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