Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI

Director General of Department of Plant Protection, Dr. Mubarak Ahmed, advised the business and industrial community of Karachi to urge the government for establishment of vital Food Safety Regulatory Authority.

A Bill for setting up Federal Food Safety Regulatory Authority was drafted long time ago but no progress was taking place in this regard so the business community should raise voice for setting up this authority which, if established, would enhance Pakistan’s market access to international markets through export of quality agriculture products, he said while exchanging view at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

“Pakistan holds highest number of patients suffering from diabetes and cancer mainly due to lack of food control”, he added and said imports and exports around the world are backed up by Research & Development (R&D) but unfortunately no R&D was taking place in case of Pakistan’s imports and exports which was a serious issue and requires attention.

“There are good and bad players in the market but we will never allow the bad players to play with lives of the masses by importing substandard and unhygienic commodities into the Pakistani markets”, he added. He said that clearing agents were also responsible for delays in clearance of consignments who even demand charges to be paid to Department of Plant Protection.

He said that keeping in view the highest number of interceptions of Pakistani mangoes being exported to European Union and a warning issued by EU to ban mango imports from Pakistan as done in case of India if five more interceptions occurred, the Department of Plant Protection took up this issue very seriously last year and efforts were made to ensure export of high quality mangoes to EU.

Consequently, EU’s interceptions were reduced drastically which can be gauged from the fact that not a single interception occurred last year while only three interceptions happened in 2015.

“Within a short span of just one year, the number of hot water treatment plant has been increased from just one to 29 hot water treatment plants, of which 8 hot water treatment plants are situated in Karachi.

Speaking on the occasion, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, pointed out that the HS Codes for pulses were not reflecting in the trade policy which creates confusion and results in intensifying problems being faced by the concerned traders.

President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry stressed the need to devise a clear system while the workforce of Plant Protection Department must also be enhanced in order to speed up the process and minimise the grievances being faced by business community.