0001gr6-9_optSTAFF REPORT LHR: The Ministry of Industries has accused the local urea manufacturers of increasing prices by 86 per cent against a 37 per cent hike in gas price, besides reaping benefits of a subsidy of Rs 77 billion over the past four years. This was the crux of a meeting of the National Assemblys Standing Committee on Industries, which met with Dr Abdul Wahid Soomro in the chair.

“The government extended Rs 77 billion as subsidy to local urea manufacturers in the past four years, but they did not pass it on to farmers,” said Chairman of National Fertiliser Corporation of Pakistan (NFC) Rizwan Mumtaz Ali which was endorsed by Secretary of Industries Shafqat Naghmi.

During the meeting, he said that the government is selling imported urea to farmers at a price 15-20 per cent lower than locally manufactured urea. The Secretary Industries clarified that 80 per cent of gas supplied to the urea plants is used as raw material and only 20 percent is meant for other purposes.

The Secretary Industries clarified the position of his Ministry, saying that it had no role in checking urea price and quality. “Our role is to ensure availability of essential items. We cannot control prices or check quality. It is the responsibility of provincial governments,” Naghmi said.

The Chairman NFC assured the committee that the government would soon start printing price on imported urea bags.

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