ISLAMABAD: Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar on Monday urged the provincial governments to take notice of the ‘artificial shortage’ of fertilizer in the country and ensure supply of ‘available’ urea bags to the farming community preparing their fields for the rice crop.
Responding on a Point Of Order of MNA Nawab Sher Waseer of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the National Assembly, he said there was no doubt that the world was witnessing a shortage of different commodities including wheat, edible oil and fertilizer, but in Pakistan “domestic supply is available, but an environment of shortage of fertilizer is being created.
There is no real shortage.” He asked the provincial governments to provide fertilizer to farmers from the locally available stocks as in the meantime the imported commodity would start arriving through cargoes.
Naveed Qamar said fertilizer was being imported from China through the Trading Commission of Pakistan and it would be available in sufficient quantity in the country to meet the growers’ requirements.
Drawing the attention of the House and the minister, Nawab Sher said the Punjab farming community was facing an acute shortage of fertilizer across the province, adding per urea bag was being sold at the rate of Rs 2,700 against the controlled price of Rs1800.
“Each farmer is given one or two bags of urea that are extremely insufficient. It can affect the rice crop if timely remedial measures are not taken,” he warned.
Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq agreed with the sensitivity of the issue and informed the House that the government was going to install trackers on the trucks supplying different commodities like fertilizer and wheat and ensure geofencing of each urea bag to prevent its hoarding and smuggling.
He appreciated the efforts of the Minister for Industries and Production for extending Pakistan’s GSP-Plus status by the European Union, adding there would be ‘good result’ in that regard, besides ensuring a sufficient supply of edible oil from Malaysia at a reasonable price.
Ayaz Sadiq regretted the re-return of the bill related to electoral reforms by President Dr Arif Alvi with certain objections, adding that the electronic voting machines could not be used in elections without their “try & test.” He was of the view that as per the constitutional provision, after the bill’s re-return, the National Assembly Secretariat would notify it now.
According to article 75 (2) of the Constitution “When the President has returned a Bill to the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), it shall be reconsidered by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in joint sitting and, if it is again passed, with or without amendment, by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), by the votes of the majority of the members of both Houses present and voting, it shall be deemed for the purposes of the Constitution to have been passed by both Houses and shall be presented to the President, and the President shall give his assent within ten days, failing which such assent shall be deemed to have been given.” The minister criticized the previous government of PTI for taking excessive loans and ruining the national economy with its wrong policies, mentioning that from 1947-to 2018 Pakistan got Rs 27,000 billion loans, while alone the PTI government took around Rs 24,000 billion loans.
Ayaz Sadiq called upon the House to direct the incumbent government for taking notice of PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s recent statement about the country’s disintegration, armed forces and strategic assets, by starting legal proceedings against him.