The government has offered a reward of Rs5 million to any informer or whistle-blower in exchange for providing “credible” and “actionable” information about the 343,000 metric tons of urea that mysteriously disappeared from the market.

Sources in the PM Office said Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the authorities concerned to extend the enactment of whistle-blowers reward to the fertilizer sector after the government and the industry failed to identify the stock of 343,000 metric tons of urea in the market.

The sources further revealed that fertilizer dealers had informed the government that they had sold all stocks in the market and they did not know about the 343,000 metric tons stock of urea that disappeared from the market.

However, the government was of the view that profiteers and hoarders were behind the sudden disappearance of the fertilizer.

Minister for Industries and Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar informed the meeting that a new enactment to reward whistle-blowers was being promulgated to check hoarding and profiteering.

Under the new rules for a claim of reward, a maximum of Rs5 million would be rewarded to those who would provide credible and actionable information about hoarding of fertilisers to the government.

Under the act, the government had enacted reward to identify 343,000 metric tons stock that disappeared from the market.

The government is in the process of receiving data from the real-time portal regarding the production of fertilizer by manufacturers and its sale to dealers.

Last week, the Punjab government had shared data of around 149 dealers who had hoarded the stock of fertilizer.

The sources said the fertilizer companies had assured the federal government of blacklisting the dealers involved in hoarding, adding following a crackdown on dealers, the prices of urea on bordering area of central and north Punjab had come down to Rs1,800 to Rs1,900 per bag.

Earlier, the price of DAP had gone up to Rs10,000 per bag and urea over Rs3,000 per bag following hoarding of the stocks by dealers and profiteers.

During the meeting, it was informed that the manufacturers would utilise maximum capacity of their units to produce fertilizer and, therefore, maximum stocks of fertilizer would be available during December.

The petroleum division also assured the companies of uninterrupted gas supply to two fertilizer plants — Agritech and Fatima.

The meeting also reflected upon the current stock position and production targets of urea and other fertilisers in December 2021.

At present, Fauji had a stock of 8,000 tons of urea, Engro (8,820), Fatima (16,500) and Agritech had a stock of 13,000 tons of urea.

According to a statement, in an effort to ensure adequate supply of urea for the rabi crops, Minister for Industries and Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar along with Federal Minister for Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam held a meeting with the manufacturers of fertiliser industry on Thursday. Senior officials of both the ministries also participated in the meeting.

The minister noted that domestic production of urea stood at historic level at around 3.4 million tons in the current year due to prudent and timely measures taken by the government. He said that the government had ensured uninterrupted gas supplies to the plants for boosting domestic production for Rabi season.