ISLAMABAD  - The federal government on Friday decided to maintain the existing price of urea fertilizer at Rs 1659 per 50kg bag due to availability of sufficient stocks in the country.

The decision was taken at a high level meeting held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf here at the PM House to review the situation of availability of fertilizers in the country.

During the meeting, the increase in support price of wheat by the government was appreciated. The meeting noted that this would have a salutary effect both in the increase in farmers’ income as well as in agricultural production.

The Prime Minister said that the increase in support price of wheat is part of the strategy of the government to achieve the objective of food security in the country. He expressed satisfaction over the fact that sufficient stocks of fertilizers were available in the country.

The meeting was told that the stock position of fertilizers was far better as compared to the last year due to timely import of fertilizers as well as local production. The Prime Minister said that the availability of fertilizers would further improve with the finalization of contract to import 200,000 tons of urea from Saudi Arabia which is expected by the middle of January 2013.

The meeting was informed that a subsidy of Rs 80 billion had been provided on fertilizers by the federal government to reduce the cost of inputs to the farmers. The Prime Minister also expressed satisfaction that there was stability in the market because of adequate availability of fertilizers in the country.

The Prime Minister directed that the price of fertilizer should be printed on each bag and the local administration should ensure that farmers can purchase them on factory price.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for National Food Security and Research Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Industry, Muhammad Basharat Raja, Minister of State for Commerce Abbas Khan Afridi and other senior officials of the government.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has directed Board of Investment (BoI) to expedite its restructuring and introduce one-window operation to further facilitate investors in the country. The Prime Minister was talking to Salim Mandviwala, Chairman Board of Investment (BoI), who called on him at the PM House here to apprise him about BoI’s measures to attract investment.

Prime Minister Ashraf said that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Act, 2012 had been enacted to attract foreign direct investment in the country. He said the establishment of SEZs would attract both domestic as well as international investors. He hoped that the SEZs would play a pivotal role in national economic development.