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                                        Volume. 12138

Pakistan cannot import cheap urea from Iran
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Pakistan National Assembly''s Standing Committee on Commerce was informed that Pakistan cannot import cheap urea from Iran because of restrictions on petroleum-related products but India is free to import Iranian urea. 
 
This was disclosed by Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), Rizwan Ahmad during a presentation to the committee. Minister for Commerce, Engineer Khurram Dastgir also attended the meeting.
 
The Chairman TCP maintained that urea is from the family of petroleum products and Pakistan is not allowed to import any such product from Iran. He said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is holding meetings to streamline bilateral trade with Iran. When the issue of urea import came under discussion, Minister for Commerce, Khurram Dastgir said the role of the Commerce Ministry is limited only to import, adding that other matters are dealt with by Ministry of Industries and Production and its attached department, ie, National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML).
 
He, however, revealed that import or export of much needed commodities have lately landed in the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet due to which vulnerable sections of society do not benefit from government decisions. He said there should be a proper mechanism for import and export of commodities in time. "The government is evaluating different options including timing of export or import of commodities so that people can benefit," he maintained.
 
The Commerce Minister also sought the opinion of the standing committee about the future of cotton procurement centers as, according to him, TCP has not been involved in cotton procurement operation since 2009. Standing Committee Chairman Siraj Muhammad Khan said that if these centers are not generating funds, there is no need to hold onto them. Some of the members of standing committee proposed that the government should give cotton procurement centers to private sector.
 
(Source: Business Recorder)

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