ISLAMABAD     -   Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Industries and Production Abdul Razak Dawood on Thursday said that government has allowed to increase the urea price by Rs10 per bag.

Addressing a press conference, he said that government would give one billion rupees subsidy on importing 100,000 tons of urea during ongoing fiscal year to overcome the shortage in the country. However, there was sufficient stock of Urea available in the country to cater the demands of Khareef season. The government would provide relief to farmers by ensuring availability of agriculture inputs including fertilizers on affordable prices in order to boost agriculture yield.

Talking about urea price, the Adviser said that government has not accepted the plea of fertilizer industry to increase the urea bag by Rs240. However, the government has approved to enhance the urea price by Rs10 per bag. Further he said that fertilizer industry was of the view that urea price should be increased due to hike in gas prices. However, he appreciated the fertilizer industry for accepting government’s view of increasing urea price by Rs10 per bag.

Dawood informed that dealers had stored the urea stock with a view that its prices would increase after the implementation of annual budget for current fiscal year and they would earn profit. However, the dealers have not succeeded in their motive.

He further said that government would appoint Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Engineering Development Board by next month. The Adviser said that Pakistan would ask the United States to revive Trade Investment Framework during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Washington. “I will meet Secretary Commerce in Washington to discuss the trade issues and Afghan peace,” he said.

In a separate development, a delegation of US-Pak Business Council (USPBC) called on Razak Dawood. The Adviser to Prime Minister highlighted the investment and business opportunities in Pakistan while explaining the newly introduced policies containing incentives for the start-ups and new businesses by easing out regulatory framework in the country. He urged the delegation to enhance the trade and investment relations between the two countries as the existing relations are not at par with the potential. Pakistan is keen to take Pak-USA bilateral trade and investment ties to new heights by taking benefit from the liberal de-regulated investment policies of Pakistan as these policies provide most attractive incentives and level playing field as compared to the countries around. Further, he mentioned that New Tax Policy introduced by this Government is in favor of Business Community and we invite investors to get maximum benefits.

He underlined that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) provide incentives to investors by allowing duty free import of machinery beside tax holidays for ten years and urged the US companies to make investment in these zones to get better returns on their investments. Pakistan has launched a program titled Regulatory Guillotine to ease the business regulations. The program will focus on mapping of the existing business regulations, assessing their need, weeding out the unnecessary and digitalization of the required regulation notifications.

The President and members of USPBC delegation appreciated business friendly environment and showed strong commitment in unleashing new business ventures in Pakistan. They also highlight prospects of US-Pakistan trade and investment ties through enormous business and commercial opportunities in Pakistan.