ECC approves reduction in imported urea price by Rs476 per bag

ISLAMABAD: In view of the surplus stocks of imported urea available with the National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML) mainly because of ‘miscalculation’ done last year, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, on Thursday approved scaling down the prices of imported urea by Rs476 per 50-kg bag, bringing it down from Rs1,786 to Rs1,310 per bag for farmers.

The ECC of the Cabinet also constituted a committee headed by Minister for National Food Security & Research to ascertain the facts why ‘miscalculation’ was made to allow surplus imported urea into the country as the NFML had to bear a cost of Rs3.5 million per month and incurring handling charges to the tune of Rs21 per bag for total stocks of 276,000 available stocks at the moment.

In order to resolve the issue, the government decided to incentivise the farmers. If the NFML was forced to keep its stocks, its handling charges might cause more losses to the national exchequer.“Dar, being the chairman of the ECC, constituted a committee to ascertain the facts with the mandate to fix responsibility on those who imported surplus urea at the cost of national exchequer,” top officials disclosed to The News after the the ECC, one participant argued that it was difficult to forecast actual requirements of urea so calculation of requirement of urea was made on the basis of 2014 as on January 16, 2014 the off take price stood at Rs1786 per bag and during the period from April-Sept the imported urea stood at 3, 44,000 tons. Now the available stocks with NFML stood at 2, 67,000 tons of imported urea.

Courtesy : geo

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