ISLAMABAD  -   Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet will meet today (Monday) to fix the market price of the imported urea.

The ECC is likely to allow Rs50 per bag subsidy in the price of urea, said official source to The Nation. The ECC, which will meet with Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Asad Umar in chair, will also discuss the availability of urea, its demand and the prospects of future import.

The imported price of the urea is Rs1730 per bag and if the ECC allowed Rs 50 per bag subsidy on the imported urea, it will reduce its market price to Rs1680 per bag.

Currently there is shortage of urea in the country and following the reports of hoarding of urea the Ministry of Industries and Production, in a letter to the chief secretaries of all the provinces, has asked for taking action against the hoarders of the urea. According to the letter, the copy of which is available with the scribe, “There are sufficient stocks of urea to cater for domestic demand during the Rabi season in the country. However certain hoarders have created environment giving impression of shortage of urea to raise the price over and above the suggested market prices of various brands,”.“You are therefore requested to take steps for smooth supply of urea and take action against hoarders and profiteers in your area as per law,” the letter said.

The ECC will discuss import of 50,000 to 100,000 tones of urea. The ECC meeting is scheduled for 3 pm and prior to the meeting Adviser to Prime Minister for Commerce and Industry Abdul Razzak Dawood will hold meeting with representatives of fertilizer companies to ascertain the demand-supply gap of the urea.

It is pertinent to mention here that to cope with urea shortage in the country, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet in September had allowed import of urea to the tune of 100,000 tons and decided to restore gas supply to two closed fertilizer plants to increase production. Similarly, in November also, the ECC had allowed import of 50,000 tone urea. The current urea demand in the country stands at 5.833 million tons compared to 5.862 million tons during last year.

GROWERS ADVISED TO ENSURE TIMELY IRRIGATION TO CROP

APP adds: Wheat growers have been advised to ensure timely irrigation of their crop for getting maximum yield.

Assistant director agriculture information Naveed Asmat Kohloon said that growth period including tillering, booting, milking and dough stages were important and there should be proper irrigation at these stages, otherwise, wheat crop could face issue of low yield, said a press release.

Farmers should irrigate wheat crop after 18 to 25 days of cultivation. The second important phase of crop is time to boot stage, it usually appears after 80 days and farmers should irrigate crop, he said. If there is scarcity of water at this time, it would affect pollination process, which would lead to less grains, he added. Fourth and fifth irrigation spell should be initiated after 125 to 130 days of cultivation, he suggested. Grains could be weak in case there is shortage of water at this stage, he said adding that the farmers should be very careful regarding irrigation timing for wheat crop.