ISLAMABAD - Minister for Industries and Defence Production Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi Thursday directed the concerned officials to further speed up the transportation operations and supply of urea from the Gwadar Port to all parts of the country so that the imported urea is readily made available to the farmers.

He chaired a meeting held to assess the supply of imported urea from Gwadar Port to upcountry. The meeting was attended by Advisor to PM on Industries Muhammad Basharat Raja, Federal Secretary Industries Aziz Ahmed Bilour, Chairman TCP Tahir Raza and NFML MD. He directed NFML to open two more points to offload urea quickly and asked the higher officials to oversee the transportation of urea themselves. The Minister said that Pakistan is an agrarian country with its economy heavily dependent on agriculture sector. Therefore, keeping in view the importance and demand of fertilizer in the country, the government decided to import 1.2 million tons of urea for Rabi crop 2011-12 which started arriving in the country, he added. He said the Government has maintained the prices of imported urea at the lowest levels.

Talking to the USC MD, Ch Pervaiz Elahi said that Mega Utility Stores should be opened at the places where there is more demand so that low-priced quality items should be available to the people under one roof. The minister said that the result of recent reduction in prices could be seen in the sudden boost in the sales of USC. Praising the performance of USC he added that this increase in sales is an ample testimony to the fact that the people repose great faith in the superior quality and optimum costs of products at the Utility Stores.

Earlier, the minister was informed that the distribution of the imported urea for Rabi 2011-12 started on the 20th November. This was the first time that such enormous quantity of urea was imported in a very short span of time. NFML, working under the Ministry of Industries, was confronted with a gigantic task to transport and distribute this urea across the length and breadth of the country, which it is performing with great success. The average off-take of NFML in the previous years was 4500 metric tons per day but during this emergency operation NFML rose to a maximum of 18,030.25 metric tons per day. The meeting was told that NFML has started “one window operation” to facilitate the farmers to procure fertilizer. It was also informed that NFML will soon be expanding its operations to Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.