’GIDC to devastate agriculture’

June 1, 2015 Off By Web Desk

Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said (Gas Infrastructure Development Cess) GIDC imposed on the behest of international monetary fund IMF will devastate fertiliser industry and farming community.

It will increase the cost of urea by rupees four per kg which will be unbearable for millions of poor farmers already facing high input costs and heavy losses, it said.

Government should take GIDC decision back or make a new subsidy mechanism to save industry and farmers from the impact of cess lest they follow the Indian trend of suicides, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Pushing planters to the wall will have direct impact on agricultural production and food security situation in the country, he added.

He said that after imposition of GIDC the industry will become uncompetitive which may pave way for deregulation opening floodgates for low quality imports and smuggling.

Subsequently, the fertiliser industry may become unviable or the international lender force the government to close it on the pretext of gas shortages, he warned.

Dr. Mughal said that GIDC will increase the price of urea by Rs200 per bag for cash customers while majority that get it on credit will have to pay Rs400 to Rs500 extra breaking their back.

Government should reverse the GIDC decision or make a plan to save the industry and farmers form the damaging impact of the cess after a detailed study otherwise conspiracy hatched by IMF would succeed.