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SAHIWAL, Nov 29: The Regional Utility Store Office has sold out 40,680 urea fertiliser (50kg) bags to growers at subsidised rate in the last two and-a-half months, it is learnt.

It is for the first time that any fertiliser has been made available at the utility stores, bringing relief to the growers who had previously been facing shortage of the product. At Sahiwal regional point, as many as 4,500 farmers have so far purchased the urea bags.

Sources told Dawn that the federal government had imported urea fertiliser from Saudi Arabia to meet the domestic requirement in October last. The Pakistan Trading Corporation distributed it through the National Fertilizer Marketing Limited to all the regional utility store centres in the country.

The regional utility stores have been directed to sell 50kg urea bag at a subsidised rate of Rs650; the market price of the bag is Rs850. “We were directed to provide urea only to those growers who provide two documents, that is, land ownership papers and copy of national identity card,” Javed Mushtaq, regional manger (Sahiwal), told Dawn.

He said the local utility store regional office received two stocks of urea which was provided to the growers who fulfilled formalities. The first stock of 14,280 urea bags arrived on Oct 9 and it was sold out within a week and the second stock of 26,400 urea bags, received on Nov 24, took just four days.

Responding to a query, he denied any political influence in the sale of subsidised urea, reiterating that those growers who showed the required documents got the product.