LAHORE-The Punjab Assembly on Monday admitted for discussion an adjournment motion regarding exorbitant prices of urea fertiliser and the resultant woes of the farming community.

A motion demanding ban on sale of liquor was also taken by the House in its Monday’s sitting.

Sheikh Alauddin of PML-Q’s forward block moved a motion, pleading that urea manufacturing cartel comprising Engro, Dawood Hercules and Fauji Fertilizer was looting the poor farmers with impunity and the Competition Commission of Pakistan was also helpless.

He told the House that increase in the urea fertilizer price, which is 100 per cent, was not proportionate to 27 per cent raise in gas prices.

The Fauji Fertilizer earned a net profit of Rs 66 billion in the preceding financial year which was double the profit it earned the previous year. Similarly, he added, the old plant of Engro earned Rs 7 billion profit during the period. 

Alauddin further informed the House that government had given a subsidy of Rs 77 billion to the farmers on fertilizer in the past three years, but they did not get even Rs 77 out of this huge amount. He pleaded that Rs 500 per urea bag subsidy should have been given directly to the farmers instead of the manufacturers. He suggested that government should protect the interests of farmers keeping in view the statements of profit and loss of these companies.

The Speaker fixed coming Thursday for further discussion on the issue.

The House also admitted another adjournment motion for discussion moved by Nighat Nasir Sheikh of PML-N. She raised the issue of unchecked sale of liquor in hotels and guest houses at exorbitant rates.

Nighat said that this was being done with the connivance of police and officials concerned of the Excise &Taxation department. She also demanded complete ban on sale of liquor on the plea that it was also a forbidden drink in Christianity.

The lady legislator sought Chair’s permission to debate the issue in the Assembly, saying that there was much resentment in public on the unrestricted sale of liquor. This motion would also come up under discussion on Thursday next. 

A general debate on the reports of medical and health institutions was underway when Sajida Mir of PPP pointed out lack of quorum in the House.

The Speaker gave five minutes to complete the quorum, but the required number of Assembly members did not turn up in the time given. Upon this, the Speaker adjourned the House till Thursday.