Black-marketing of urea at alarming level

STAFF REPORT LHR: As many as 23,000 urea bags are being black-marketed daily in the Punjab province, while the provincial government agencies have no mechanism to trace the mafia involved in this crime which is rendering billion of rupees loss to farmers. A huge amount has been wasted on account of subsidy on imported urea, but farmers cannot get the benefit of even a single penny.
Official figures reveal that on average some 1,100 tons of imported urea has gone untraceable in distribution channels of the National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML) daily. Similarly, as result of the hue and cry of farmers, 21 per cent out of total 200 authorised urea dealers have been identified as ghost vendors that have no traceability.
Estimates reveal that around 1.5 million imported urea bags, consuming Rs2 billion subsidy, have been paid issued to unknown dealers so far.
A senior agriculture department official on condition of anonymity disclosed that despite knowing the factual position, NFML had been showing ignorance about the malpractices in urea distribution.
It had been asking provincial government to provide lists of ghost dealers.
The federal government has allocated Rs25 billion for urea subsidy for the current Rabi crops but farmers are still unhappy as the benefit cannot be passed on to them due to black-marketing.

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