ISLAMABAD – The government is expected to add additional Rs.20 billion in country’s export annually due to recently launched Halal Food Accreditation Scheme which may further grow with more consumer awareness in food as well as in non-food products.

An official, requesting anonymity told on Sunday that “After launching Halal Food Accreditation scheme in January this year by Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC), it will help increase country’s export and the government was too much optimistic to get additional Rs.15 to 20 billion during the next fiscal year 2012-13,”.

The Halal Food Market is estimated $2.77 trillion globally was fast growing further with more consumer awareness not only in food sector but also in non-food products, like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, healthcare, toiletries and other non-consumables.

The official said that in a bid to provide policy guideline to PNAC and Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) a Halal Board will be set up for Halal Food Accreditation and till its establishment, the cost on certification to be subsidized by 50 per cent and the Board is also planned to have representation of private sector and Ulema along with representation of government functionaries. In this regard when contacted the Director General (DG) PNAC Anjum Bashir, he said that the launching of Halal Food Accreditation scheme was a milestone in the history of Pakistan which will not only bolster country’s export but also boost local sale.

Anjum Bashir told that Standard and Metrology Institute for Islamic countries (SMIIC) of Turkey acknowledging the initiative of launching Halal accreditation scheme and extended membership to PNAC.

“Pakistan having rich potential in livestock, dairy and poultry sector has the capability to capture this new market of Halal Food,” he said, adding that PNAC being an apex body with a mandate to accredit conformity Assessment Bodies like Laboratories, Certification/ Inspection Bodies as per the International requirements under the WTO regime has achieved a milestone of Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) with International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) & Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC),”adding that it gives PNAC equivalent status like other reputed accreditation bodies of North America, European & Far East Countries.

He said that the importance of Medical Labs Accreditation was increasing every day in this era of technological advancements and competition in the healthcare service sector. PNAC has taken in-time initiative to improve the Health care Sector by launching Medical Labs Accreditation Scheme.

“The PNAC has accredited as many as 49 testing and Calibration Labs, 03 Certification Bodies, and 02 Inspection Bodies so far,” the DG added.