Islamabad, March 19, 2021 (PPI-OT): Former President ICCI Shahid Rasheed Butt on Friday said rising fertiliser prices are devastating the rural economy which will make life difficult for farming communities as well as the urban population. Farmers are uneasy over the rising cost of doing business which is reducing production and increasing imports hitting external trade balance, he said.
The fertiliser prices have been increased eight times during the last eight months despite a cut in taxes on this industry which has become a real threat to the rural economy, he added. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that the price of DAP has been increased by Rs1742 during the last eight months. It was available at Rs3395 in July but now its price has jumped to Rs5137 while it is being sold at some stations at Rs5500.
The price of nitro phosphate fertiliser soared to Rs3,500 in March from Rs2,700 in December 2020 and the price of sulphate of potash has been increased by Rs300, he informed. The veteran business leader said that Pakistan is considered an agricultural country but the import of agriculture products are increasing at an alarming pace while the wheat shortfall to hit three million tonnes during the next year.
Cotton worth billions is being imported while the import of edibles has jumped to $5.334 billion in the first eight months of this fiscal which is 50.29 percent more than what was imported during the corresponding period. The crop of sunflower is at the brink of total destruction which is set to boost the edible oil import bill which was $3.2 billion during the last year which calls for an urgent action plan.
He said that during the first eight months of the last year, the ratio of food imports in the overall import basket was 11.29 percent which has now jumped to 15.76 percent which should be enough to attract the attention of policymakers.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Shahid Rasheed Butt
Consul General Ghana
Former President ICCI
Former Patron ICST
Tel: +92-333-5132199, +92-51-2822571
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