ISLAMABAD: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) an SME forum has sought clarification about mandatory membership of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) for all rice exporters from the ministry of commerce (MoC) and urged the MoC to clarify whether it is for exporters of all varieties of rice and if so the wisdom and rational behind the patronage and favouritism. (NNI)In a statement issued here on Wednesday, President Unisame Zulfikar Thaver said rice exporters are members of their respective chambers of commerce and industries and all exporters of brown rice are registered with the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) for the facility of pre-shipment inspection. Even some exporters of white rice are registered with TCP on the nomination of their overseas buyers who require independent third party inspection by an authorised body, he added. Thaver said an association by virtue of its services may attract stakeholders to become members but compelling exporters to become members is beyond comprehension especially when such a compulsion is unconstitutional, irrational and beyond comprehension.He pointed out that many SME rice exporters are exporting wheat, maize, sugar, salt, spices, recipe items, fruits, vegetables, flowers and commodities and it is not expected of them to become members of all the associations of items they are exporting especially when they are members of their respective chamber of commerce and industry of their area. The compulsion of membership of REAP is illogical and needs to be removed forthwith.