Urea Sales Resumed On Govt Assurance
Lahore: 04th July, 2017 – Fertilizer manufacturers have decided to resume sales of urea after Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Food Security & Research have given assurance to issue subsidy notification within next 10 days. The Subsidy Notification has faced procedural delays by concerned Ministries as that had to be issued before 30 June 2017 for disbursement of new subsidy scheme announced in budget 2017-18. Thus the industry had earlier decided to stop the sales of Urea. The industry hopes that the Govt will fulfil its commitment and devise a simplified way of subsidy disbursement.
The crisis escalated after the newly announced subsidy was disowned by either of Ministry to follow up through notification. It is learnt that unnecessary verification process is likely to be done away with, thus relying mainly on GST returns, filed by the companies. FBR, with new leadership is expected to facilitate the process, thus helping the industry which is one of the highest contributors to the national exchequer. The backlog of Rs 20 bn subsidy claims of previous scheme remains still a headache for Ministry of Food Security, and financial burden of delayed payments has already caused serious concerns for the fertilizer industry. Under these circumstances, the manufacturer companies had been reluctant to participate in the subsidy scheme, which is channeled to reach to the farmers through the producers. It is important to note that Fertilizer prices in Pakistan remained capped, due to the subsidy programme – a costly and tedious exercise for the government and the fertilizer industry.