Former FPCCI Standing Committee chairman Ahmad Jawad has emphasised that the decision to allow the import of urea by the private sector would open up a new window for the middlemen to charge commission.
Jawad criticised the decision of Finance Division and the Ministry of Petroleum to grant permission to allow urea import into the country. He also criticised Ministry of National Food Security and Research for framing the policy.
He insisted that private companies do not have the capacity to enforce a strict mechanism, hence the farming community will be negatively affected by the decision to allow the import of urea.
Jawad stressed that “importers will import urea on the existing international rates, and then add customs duty and other taxes and then dump it in their storage houses afterwards”.
At present, the country needs 6 million tonnes of urea annually. Local manufacturers produce 4.5 million tonnes while the remaining 1.5 million tonnes can easily be produced especially after the 15-year LNG import deal with Qatar.
Jawad said that the fertiliser has been the only sector in the country consuming gas for value addition, which is why it should be provided more gas.
He urged the government to negotiate with the local manufactures to fix reasonable rates of all the fertiliser products in order to facilitate the farmers and refrain from approving unjustifiable import policy in haste.