ISLAMABAD     -    The Speaker National Assembly, Asad Qaisar took notice of availability and pricing trend of different fertilizer products particularly DAP and Urea.

According to the statement issued on Monday, Mr. Asad Qaiser highlighted that the farmers complain that continuous surge in fertilizer prices has rendered farming unsustainable and non-competitive for the poor farmers.

He was chairing a meeting of the National Assembly Special Body on Agricultural Products on Monday 3rd October 2019 at Parliament House Islamabad where all the stakeholders were invited.

The Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research briefed the NA body about the fertilizer prices, availability and cost of production. He stated that the surge in prices is non-reasonable and the margin of profit for the fertilizer industry is quite high. Sharing figures pertaining to cost of production, he highlighted that in the last one year alone fertilizer prices have been revised almost five times.

The officials of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, representatives of provincial agriculture departments and Members of the body emphatically stressed the need for rationalizing fertilizer prices. Several members pointed out that the fertilizer manufacturers collect Rs400 per bag of urea from the farmers on account of GIDC while the same is not passed on to government.

The representatives of the fertilizers industry maintained that several misconceptions and myths are circulated that fertilizers industry has accumulated massive profits at the cost to the farmers and such misperceptions needs to be addressed.  It was submitted that the increase in gas prices, GST, inflation, Value Addition Tax were principal reasons for increase in fertilizers prices.

It was further submitted that the Fertilizers Industry has passed on more benefits to the farmers than what the industry gets from the government. The Ministry of National Food Security & Research and Members of the NA body expressed disagreement with the views of the representatives of the fertilizers industry.

The Members maintained that consistent increases in input prices have rendered agriculture noncompetitive and that the government regulatory agencies and relevant department should play a vibrant role to ensure cheaper inputs to farmers.

The Speaker National Assembly referred the matter to Fertilizer Review Body of the Ministry of Industries and Production to immediately convene a meeting with the fertilizer industry and reach a logical conclusion vis-à-vis rationalization of fertilizer prices. MNA Syed Fakhar Imam stressed that rationalization of the prices should no longer be delayed as any undue delay may in danger Pakistan's National Food Security.