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Price hike of fertilizers not to be tolerated: Razak Dawood

Price hike of fertilizers not to be tolerated: Razak Dawood

ISLAMABAD: The Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said any unjustified increase in fertilizer prices would not to be tolerated as the government was fully determined to protect the local farming community for the development of agriculture sector of the country.

Addressing a news conference, he said the prices of fertilizers to be determined according to the guidelines of federal cabinet by taking the fertilizers manufacturers on board.

He said that he would meet with the fertilizers producers on Thursday and the prices of the commodity would be determined after due calculations.

He added that he had met with the fertilizer produces before budget 2019-20 and they had agreed that any change in price of the commodity would be made with due consultation of the concern ministry.

The adviser reiterated the government resolve to protect the local farmers from price hike, besides providing them maximum relief for the development of agriculture sector and poverty alleviation from the country.

Razak Dawood said due to certain changes that had introduced in Federal Budget 2019-20, gas prices were increased and due to that the fertilizers manufacturers have demanded to increase prices of the commodity by Rs100 per bag.

However, he said that the federal cabinet has decided to reduce the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) in order to minimize the increasing gas prices impact on fertilizer manufacturing.

He categorically cleared that there was no dearth of the fertilizers across the country,  adding that according to the demand and supply analysis, sufficient stocks were available for domestic consumption upto December this year.

He informed that average domestic production of the fertilizers during last six months were recorded at 3.2 million tons as compared the local demand of 2.9 million tons.

Highlighting the trade volume during the last fiscal year (2018019), he said exports from the country were recoded at US $ 23 billion as against the targets of US $ 24 billion.

He said in quantity terms, the exports of ready made garments was increased by 20%, rice by 46%, cement 26%, foot wear 27% and netwear by 10%.

He said that it was a positive sign for the local industrial sector that showed that the output has increased, value addition has gone up and international market share was also enhanced.

He said that decrease in dollar term was due to decreasing prices trend in international market as the over all world trade was reduced by three percent  in last fiscal year.

Besides that, he said import into the country had also gone down by US $ 6 billion as against the last year, adding that trade deficit was reduced by US $ 5.9 billion during the period under review.

He said Pakistan was moving towards value addition and many foreign companies had expressed their keen interest in establishing their units of lather and textile here.

He said that about nine Chinese companies were going to establish their industrial units at Faisalabad and started work.

The adviser said Qatar had also removed the ban on the imports of rice from Pakistan and rice exports had already been started for Qatar.

He informed that Iran has also expressed its keen interest to import rice from Pakistan, adding that about 500,000 tons rice to be exported to Iran.

Replaying to a query, he said there were some certain issues that had emerged after the current budget, adding that government was determined to address all such matters to facilitate the local trade and business.

He said that he along with the Prime Minister would visit Karachi and would meet with the business community to address all their issues in an amicable manner for the development of trade and industry in the country.

The adviser cleared that the tax compliance culture would be promoted as no body in the country was willing to pay its due tax that was the main impediment in national economic development.