LAHORE The shortage of fertilizer would be detrimental for Khareef crops including sugarcane, cotton and rice while Federal government would be held responsible for gas shortage. Local fertilizer companies should be supplied with natural gas and 100 per cent gas tariff hike should be withdrawn immediately while government should import fertilizer on priority basis and annul 16pc GST on agri inputs. This was the upshot of speakers who spoke at the forum subjected Shortage of Fertilizer and its Solution held here on Saturday at Aiwan-e-Waqt Forum. Punjab Agricultural Minister Malik Ahmad Ali Olakh has said that Federal Government is hedging conspiracy against Punjab by creating shortage and hiking price of fertilizers. He said diesel for tractors and tubewells has already become out of reach for farmers and now fertilizer has been made difficult for farmers. He was of the view that due to shortage of fertilizer, 20 to 30 per cent yielding in Punjab would decline. He demanded the Federal government to imprint fertilizer price on every fertilizer bag so that black marketing could be stopped. He further suggested that those who found involve in this heinous crime should be given exemplary punishment and dealership should be cancelled. Olakh further revealed that on fertilizer issue, he was called by Federal Government only two times in three long years. He said that at this moment Punjab needs 2.26 million tons fertilizer while National Fertilizer Corporation possesses over 3.8 million tons but Punjab is being denied to fulfil its necessities. He, however, informed that Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has already written a letter to Prime Minister for the solution of fertilizer issue. Agriculture Minister claimed that local fertilizer companies have had potential to produce 6.9 million tons fertilizer while countrys total requirement is about 6.6m tons. He feared that with the gas tariff hike, fertilizer prices would also increase. He also demanded the withdrawal of 16pc GST on agri inputs. Former Agri Minister Arshad Khan Lodhi said that previous government stopped black marketing of fertilizer with iron hands but it is now prevailing frequently. He demanded the government that only 5pc GST should be imposed on agriculture sector like textile industry. Pakistans economy is attached with agriculture and if farmers would be poor, they might be turned towards terrorism, he said adding that Khareef yielding would be decline by 10 per cent and as a result prices of food would be plummeted 30 per cent, he added. KBP SVP Sarfraz Khan said that shortage of fertilizer after sugar, flour is the result of international conspiracy. He said that Federal government deliberately did not import fertilizer in time and now planning to suspend gas supply to fertilizer companies to extort commission from blackmarketers . Agriculturists Jamshaid Iqbal Cheema said that just seven month ago, price of Urea was Rs 800 per bag but now it is being sold at the rate of Rs 1,500. He forcasted that fertilizers prices would further escalate in July. With this hike, Khareef corps like cotton, sugarcane and rice which are considered export crops would badly be affected. He demanded the Federal government to take measures for the supply of natural gas to fertilizer companies on priority basis and open LCs for the immediate import of fertilizer.