The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production was held at Parliament House on Tuesday under the Chairmanship of Senator Khalida Ateeb. The meeting was attended by Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Niazi, Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt and senior officers from the Ministry of Industries and Production along with all concerned.
The agenda entailed detailed briefing on Point of Public Importance raised by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed regarding the issue of employees working in the National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML) and the matter of regularization of services and increase in salaries of employees of National Fertilizer Corporation Limited (NFCL) Lodhran.
The Committee showed concern regarding the issues that pertained to the employees. It also questioned the efficacy of the organization and the role it played in the recent fertilizer crisis. NFML’s role as a regulatory body and the part it currently plays in the fertilizer crisis was emphasized, especially in context of current market demand of 3.4 million tons.
The Committee was informed that market forces determine fertilizer prices. However, in order to increase efficacy of the organization it was essential that skilled personnel in procurement and distribution are hired. The Committee was informed that a major chunk of employees have been hired on contract and at that that time no commitments of regularization had been made. The Committee while reviewing the situation was of the view that the Ministry must do its best to ensure that employees are accommodated. It stressed the need to address grievances at the earliest.
The Committee was assured of the Ministry’s Commitment towards an amicable solution and was informed that these issues have been placed on the agenda of the meeting of the board that is due to be held next week. The Committee was further informed that a decision could only be taken once the board reviews the financial space of the organization and employee demands.
The Committee called for a detailed briefing at a later date and submission of a report that would chart out reasons for fertilizer shortage in the market. It also demanded information regarding the number of employees terminated by NFCL to date and action taken against dealers for alleged irregularities.