ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday the country produced 25,000 tonnes of urea daily, which was enough to meet country’s needs, warning that those involved in creating artificial shortages would be dealt with sternly.
He was presiding over a meeting to review the demand and supply of fertilizers, especially urea, in the country. “Last year, the country produced record bumper crops of wheat, sugarcane, cotton and maize, and due to the government’s agri-friendly policies, farmers earned an additional income of Rs822 billion in the financial year 2020-2021. The surplus income resulted in higher purchases of urea by farmers,” the PM noted.
“The government is focusing on providing adequate amount of fertiliser for maximum production of wheat to ensure food security. The availability of fertiliser in the next three weeks is especially important for farmers to model bumper wheat crop,” he added.
The PM said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s three years in government related economic success stories. He directed the authorities concerned to take all possible steps for efficient management of urea supply chain for Rabi crops. He also directed the provincial chief secretaries to take effective measures through the district administration to curb stockpiling, smuggling and procurement through middlemen outside the supply chain.
He asked all the authorities to work closely with all stakeholders including fertiliser producers to ensure adequate supply of urea to farmers for achieving record wheat production this year. Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri called on PM Imran here. The meeting discussed the organisation of PTI in Balochistan and further mobilisation of party personnel as well as parliamentary issues.
Meanwhile, Premier Imran said Pakistan performed exceptionally well in combating COVID-19 pandemic, compared to the countries in the region and the government’s policies of smart lockdown and incentive for the construction industry, social protection programs and subsidies for industries, small and medium enterprises kept the economy growing at a steady pace which have been praised by commentators globally.
The government’s three years, he emphasised, are an economic success story as “we inherited huge circular debt, anti-export policies, unsustainable fiscal conditions, less competitive business environment and policies of lack of incentive for the private sector”.
“Despite worst balance of payments crisis in the history of Pakistan in 2018, economic difficulties due to COVID-19, high commodity prices in the global market and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan having direct and indirect impact on Pakistan, the growth is still expected to be above 4pc which is a huge achievement,” he said.
On this count, PM Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the Macro Economic Advisory Group here. The meeting was given a comprehensive overview of the overall economic situation of the country, the government’s steps to mitigate the effects of high commodity prices on common people and government’s achievements in the last 3 years.
The meeting was informed that after successfully averting the crisis that the previous government left, robust economic stabilisation measures were taken which resulted in high growth compared to all regional countries even in the tested times of COVID-19. The exports have shown an increase of 25pc, tax revenues are record high with an increase of 38pc and remittances have also increased by 27pc.
Moreover, the agriculture sector saw record incomes (Rs1,100 billion additional transfers to farmers), record high profits of Rs950 billion by industries, boom in IT sector due to government’s IT policy, reduction in monthly circular debt after successful IPP tariff agreements. In addition to the above, the government fulfilled its promise of a welfare state by launching the biggest social safety program under Ehsaas, brought institutional reforms and successfully complied with FATF’s conditions which saved us from going into the blacklist.
The meeting was also presented with proposals to mitigate the transfer of the effects of high global commodity prices to common people. The proposals included an increase in incomes, purchasing power of the people, subsidies focused on middle and lower income classes and expansion of social safety net.
The prime minister directed the departments to coordinate and implement the long- and short-term plans for further betterment of both macroeconomic condition of the county and improvement in economic condition of the people. The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers Shaukat Fayyaz Tarin, Hammad Azhar, Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar, Khusro Bakhtiyar, Syed Fakhar Imam, MOS Farrukh Habib, Advisor to PM Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPMs Dr Sania Nishtar, Dr Shehbaz Gill, Governor State Bank Reza Baqir and senior officials.