Give them sugar and get the urea


Chairman Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) Javed Kayani has urged the Federal Government to consider PSMA’s proposal of barter trade for procurement of urea against sugar, the contents of his letter to Federal Finance Minister Mr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh are as under: “You have approved import of 300,000 tons urea in ECC to meet with requirements of the country for the Kharif season, which can actually be procured from Iran against barter of sugar, which will save precious foreign exchange. At present the international price of sugar can almost buy double the quantity of urea. Therefore, taking advantage of the situation Government can benefit to procure 700,000 to 800,000 tons of urea in lieu of 400,000 tons of sugar,” Kayani said. PSMA in a recently held Sugar Advisory Board meeting on 12th March made a very strong recommendation to buy a further quantity of 400,000 tons in view of the current inventory of sugar. Unfortunately the process of purchase through Trading Corporation of Pakistan has not been initiated as yet, which is grossly impacting payments of sugarcane growers as well. We are facing tremendous pressure of the growers and the respective Provincial Governments to clear payments of sugarcane growers for the current season, which are likely to be delayed for want of disposal of surplus stocks.
“We suggest that Government should adopt a pragmatic approach in view of the submissions made not only to procure urea against barter trade of sugar but also to facilitate payments to sugarcane growers and avert bank defaults on principal and mark up. We hereby confirm that 400,000 tons of sugar is ready and available for Government of Pakistan as and when required,” he said adding without the provision of drawing 90 percent credit instead of existing rate of 70 percent against pledge of sugar stocks discharging entire liabilities of growers is not possible. He said we are not demanding any extra facility instead we want 30% margin be reduced. It will facilitate both growers and the industry and pressure on Government will also be reduced.