Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday lauded the decision of the government to provide gas to the fertilizer sector on a priority basis. The move will help the situation as farmers are suffering from high prices and scarcity of fertilizer, which will influence food security, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that it will improve the fertilizer stocks in the country and may contribute to a reduction in cost, which will benefit farmers and ensure food security.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that because of the shortage of urea, high prices and stockpiling of urea across the country, farmers are worried, which has raised concerns about the production of important crops.
The hoarders are robbing the farmers with no fear and no one will be safe from the effects of reduced agricultural output. He said that action must be taken against the elements jeopardizing livelihoods and agricultural production for their petty benefits.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that it has been decided to give the same priority to the fertilizer sector in gas supply for three months as is being given to the export sector which will improve the condition of fertilizer stocks in the country which will affect the market and food security situation.
The business leader said that at present the price of fertilizer is high in the world market so there is no option to import it so it has become necessary to rely on the local industry which cannot run without gas.
However he noted that the gas is in short supply therefore it must be imported to bridge the shortfall.
Mian Zahid Hussain added that the current government had inherited a trade deficit of thirty billion dollars which will reach 45 billion by the end of this year.
The import bill of July-October has reached 25.1 billion dollars which is up by 64 percent as compared to the corresponding period.
Despite the hue and cry by the independent economists and the business community, the authorities are not taking concrete steps to control import bills and are busy giving different justifications, he said.