Shehbaz Sharif orders to expedite fertilizers import from China

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered to expedite efforts to import fertilizers from China to facilitate farmers suffering due to the shortage of the fertilizers.

Chairing a meeting of the Federal Cabinet here, PM Shehbaz Sharif directed to ensure its supply to the farmers on priority.

“If there is any shortage, efforts should be expedited to import the fertilizer from the friendly countries, especially China,” he directed, citing the dearth of fertilizers in the markets.

The PM observed that the world over, all the supply chains of commodities such as wheat, coal, and oil were badly disrupted due to the Ukraine-Russia war. He, however, expressed the resolve that government would take timely actions to avoid any disruption in the supply chains in Pakistan.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal told the meeting that the current government was committed to revive the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and attract foreign investment that would help put the country on the path of progress and development.

Iqbal said on the recommendation of Commerce Ministry, the cabinet formed a committee to review the Trade Organization Act, 2013, which would be comprised of the commerce minister as its convener, and ministers for aviation, railways and industries as its members.

On the recommendation of Health Ministry, the minister remarked that the cabinet also approved reduction in the price of the Remdesivir injection, which is used for the COVID patients, from Rs 2,308 to Rs 1,892.

He mentioned that the Health Ministry had informed the meeting that it would come up with more recommendations to reduce the prices of more essential medicines.

The cabinet also reviewed the GSP Plus agreement, that was signed in 2013 and under which Pakistan had got the facility for ten years in exports to the European Union countries.

The meeting was also briefed on the key elements of proposed new EU GSP (2024-2034). It was informed that all the ministers concerned were in contact with the EU authorities.

The cabinet expressed its satisfaction that almost all political parties had their representation in the current coalition government, therefore, meeting all the conditions required for the GSP Plus agreement would be easier.

The Prime Minister directed all the relevant ministries to ensure timely inking of the agreement for EUGSP (2024-34).

The planning minister said the meeting also discussed the tough decisions being taken in the wake of ongoing economic situation in the country.

The meeting approved issuance of the Ijara Sukuk bonds in the domestic and international markets to support the government’s budgetary position and promote Islamic banking industry in the country.

Speaking at a news conference after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif here, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal shared that the information regarding assets and other details about the programme would be available on the website of Finance Division soon.

Flanked by PM’s Advisor on Kashmir Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira, he maintained that the cabinet also discussed the matter of shortage of edible oil in the country and acknowledged the efforts of minister for industries and his team for setting sail an edible oil ship from Indonesia for Pakistan.

As regards the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar briefed the cabinet that Pakistan had met all the requirements of the FATF and hoped that soon after the visit of FATF team to Pakistan, the country would be out of the grey list.

The cabinet observed that after coming out of the grey list, international trade and other restrictions would be completely eased out and Pakistan would be able to expand its trade across the world.