Mafia minting money on high urea prices
STAFF REPORT IBD: The Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has unearthed scams worth billions of rupees due to price differential of local and imported urea, sources in the Ministry of Industries and Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) have said.
It is to be mentioned that the National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML) is supplying the imported urea at Rs 1300 per 50-kg bag while the locally produced urea is available at Rs 1700-1750 per bag.
According to sources, the ECC had decided that the price differential between imported and local urea should not exceed Rs 25 per 50-kg. However, official documents disclose that this formula was not followed.
“Local manufactures are selling urea at Rs 400-450 over and above the price set by the federal government,” the sources said.
Pakistan Agri Forum Chairman Ibrahim Mughal said that the fertilizer mafia in the ministry is putting an additional burden of Rs 150 billion on the growers.
It is worth mentioning here that the most powerful local fertilizer sector is also resisting printing the price on urea bags and the ministry appears powerless to take appropriate action because of their alleged influence. The government has been asked to take notice of the urea selling mafia so that the farmers can get the farming input at the controlled price.