UBG calls for re­duc­tion in urea prices

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

The United Busi­ness Group (UBG) of FPCCI on Wed­nes­day de­manded cut in the price of lo­cally pro­duced urea to boost agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion as high price is be­yond the ca­pac­ity of poor farm­ers. The dif­fer­ence in price of 50 kg bag of lo­cally pro­duced and im­ported urea is Rs200 which should be ra­tio­nalised in the in­ter­est of agri­cul­ture sec­tor which is back­bone of the econ­omy oth­er­wise it will cast neg­a­tive shadow on trou­bled agri­cul­tural sec­tor, it said. In a state­ment is­sued here to­day, Chair­man UBG Iftikhar Ali Malik said that pro­duc­ers must re­duce profit mar­gin to ben­e­fit grow­ers and bar im­ports, which are ex­pected soon. Iftikhar Ali Malik said that govern­ment can also think about re­vis­ing sales tax and Gas In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Cess to make lo­cally pro­duced fer­tiliser cheaper. Prices of gas have been re­vised up­ward while GIDC on feed­stock is be­ing charged at the rate of Rs300 per mmbtu which was Rs197 in 2011 which has in­creased cost of pro­duc­tion, he added. The vet­eran busi­ness leader de­manded that the claim of man­u­fac­tur­ers that av­er­age gas price in Pak­istan for the fer­tiliser sec­tor is al­most dou­ble of what is of­fered in the Middle East must be mea­sured. In a re­cent meet­ing of the Na­tional As­sem­bly's Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on In­dus­tries and Pro­duc­tion it was al­leged that urea man­u­fac­tures would earn up to Rs30 bil­lion in prof­its due to over­charg­ing which must be probed.

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