ISLAMABAD  - Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security and Research Rajab Ali Khan Baloch Wednesday informed the National Assembly that in Pakistan there is no recognized or 'mentionable' factory producing powdered milk for infants.

Taking up a question during the question-hour, Baloch said that two or three kinds of powdered milk are being produced in the country but these are tea-whiteners and not powdered milk.

He said import of powdered milk had witnessed increase due to low prices in international markets, adding that the ministry has suggested increase in import duty on it, but experts rejected it saying that it would swell prices of sweets and bakery items.

“Dry milk is mainly imported from European Union countries, Australia, Brazil and India," he added. To a supplementary question, Baloch said there was no complaint about mixing of injurious-to-health chemicals in milk at the industrial level.

However, he said, there were some reports about adulteration in milk at individual level after products come out of factories, for which respective provincial and district governments had been empowered to deal with them.

He rejected the impression that the livestock industry was on the decline saying rather its share in the gross domestic product remained significant during the last two years.

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Mohammad Jamaluddin, Shahbuddin Khan and Sajid Hussain Turi, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad informed the National Assembly that funds amounting to Rs 540 million have been released for carrying out different development projects in FATA development schemes.

He said that a meeting of Steering Committee has been called to ascertain why the previously allocated funds were not utilized. He invited all the members belonging to FATA to attend the meeting. The Secretary FATA had also been called for the meeting, he added.

Sheikh Aftab also informed the house that Rs 12.5 billion were allocated last fiscal year for the development of FATA.

He said it was the vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to carry out countrywide development projects, under which a network of motorways, highways and Pakistan China Economic Corridor was being devised.