The federal government has decided to import urea from China and Azerbaijan as it moves to shore up its strategic reserve for fertilizer in the country.
The government also hinted that it may increase prices for at least diesel when it revises prices for petroleum products next after okaying an increase in premiums for oil marketing companies (OMCs).
This was decided during a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Friday. The meeting was chaired by Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and was attended by Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, Industries and Production Syed Murtaza Mahmud, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Masood Malik, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Government Effectiveness Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan, Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman, federal secretaries, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman and other senior officers attended the meeting.
During the meeting, the industries and production ministries submitted a summary on the procurement of 200,000 metric tons of urea.
The ministry said that they had negotiated various options for import of urea, including from Chinese firms who have committed to supply the negotiated quantity on the lowest rate.
After deliberations, the ECC allowed the Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to proceed with importing 125,000 MT of urea from China on government-to-government basis.
Another 35,000 MT would be similarly imported from M/s Socar in Azerbijan.
The ECC further directed TCP to explore feasible options for import the remaining quantity of Urea to meet the strategic reserves target of 200,000 MT.