Farmers from all over Punjab have strongly criticised the lopsided policy of the government about imported urea and claimed that the subsidy being given on it from the national exchequer is not going to the farmers but to the black marketers.
Wheat Growers Association President Chaudhry Hamid Malhi, Livestock Farmers and Breeders Association Director Mohammad Amin Chattha, Punjab Water Council Director Muhammad Farooq Bajwa, Farmers Associates Pakistan Director Rabia Sultan, Basmati Growers Association’s Aman Ullah Chattha and Mango Growers Association of Tariq Khan said that the government imported 0.8 million tons of urea during Kharif 2011 and is importing another 0.9 million tons of urea for Rabi 2011.
The government is selling imported urea at the rate of Rs 1300 per bag, while the farmer is getting it at Rs 1750 per bag and above.They claimed that the factory rate of domestic urea was around Rs 1600 per bag, which was also being sold to farmers at the same rate.
There was no justification in selling imported urea at Rs 1325 per bag by the government, which should be priced at par with the domestic factory rate.
This would not only curb black marketing but would also save around Rs 5 billion of wrongly placed subsidy, representatives of different farmers’ organisations suggested.Farmers strongly rejected this unnecessary subsidy, which has never reached to the farmers.
They demanded an independent inquiry against such beneficiaries who are getting this subsidy in the name of farmers.
This saving could reduce the burden on the exchequer and also cover the targeted amount of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess from the fertiliser sector.The international rates of Urea have also reduced from $495 per ton to $350 per ton, this would also reduce the subsidy burden, they observed.
Farmers demanded from the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani that he should immediately announce the withdrawal of this subsidy to save billions and wastage of public money.
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