ISLAMABAD: Fertilizer industry has asked the Ministry of Industries and Production to convene a meeting for consultation on release of recently approved subsidy to farmers.

In a letter to Secretary Industries and Production, Fertilizer Manufactures of Pakistan Advisory Council (FMPAC) has appreciated the government’s approval of agriculture package for the farmers that include Rs 37 billion on account of subsidy on fertilizers.

The fertilizer industry is of the view that in order to plan smooth execution of the scheme, ensuring the passage of desired benefit to the farmers, a meeting of the representatives of fertilizer industry should be convened at the earliest for consultation on the process of disbursement to ensure smooth execution.

The FMPAC has submitted the following points to the Ministry for consideration (i) the subsidy scheme should come into effect immediately as the farmers and dealers have stopped purchasing in anticipation of price reduction. This will negatively impact on application of requisite fertilizer at this time; (ii) if the scheme is to be implemented through provinces, a standard scratch card must be produced at federal level since the manufacturers will not be able to ensure cataloging, bagging and shipping of the product at provincial level. This may lead to dissatisfaction of the farmers with the scheme and; (iii) all registered fertilizer products must be included in the notification to ensure balanced use of fertilizers. The registered products of the member companies include, Nitrogenous (Urea, CAN, AS), Phosphetic (DAP, NP, NPK, SSP, TSP) and 9+Potash (MAP, SOP, MOP).

The fertilizer industry has also proposed that for disbursement of subsidy on warehouse/channel inventory, the stickers will have to be issued to the companies based on the physical inventory; besides the government will have to invest in aggressively creating awareness of the scheme and its mechanics.

Talking to Business Recorder, Executive Director FMAC, Brig. Sher Shah Malik (retired) also urged the government to release fertilizer industry’s subsidy of Rs 19.2 billion on account of fertilizers under 2016, 2017 and 2018 schemes.—MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN