SIALKOT - Two federal ministers inaugurated a liaison office and a laboratory of the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority at Cleaner Production Centre at the auditorium of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Tuesday.

“Now, all the export products would be tested at the PS&QCA laboratory. Earlier, the Sialkot exporters and industrialists had to go to Karachi or abroad for getting their export products tested,” said Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali. He urged the Pakistani industries to ensure early adoption of quality standards to promote exports.

Changez said that quality standards are direly needed to explore and capture the international trade markets in the world. He added that the industries are the backbone of the national economy and the federal government would provide all the needed technical and financial assistance for promotion of national and international standards in Sialkot industries.

He said that the establishment of liaison office and international standard laboratory of PS&QCA would help upgrade the Sialkot industries’ quality and standards, besides opening the new vistas of scientific industrial research and development in the export-oriented industries of Sialkot.

He said that it was the unfortunate that Pakistan had no science and technology policy in the country for the last 17 years and now the PPP government has evolved an effective policy in this regard. He also asked the federal government to establish Sialkot-Jammu and Kashmir Trade Gate at Sialkot. He said that the government should not feel hesitation to establish this trade gate, as it had already given the MFN status to India. He said that the trade gate would promote bilateral trade between Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Sialkot.

Addressing the meeting, Federal Minister for National Regulation and Services Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the government was successfully protecting the rights of business community and making an all-out effort to provide maximum facilities to the business community, as it was their basic right.

She said that the Sialkot exporters were playing a pivotal role in boosting the national economy by earning foreign exchange to the tune of US $ 1.5 billion annually and Sialkot exporters had also set a unique example of self-help by successfully launching several projects. She said that the PPP government was keeping the industrial wheel moving by strengthening and boosting the industries and the labourers. She said that the government was also encouraging better working relations among the employers and employees in the country.

She said that the government was striving to provide long-term financial and economic relief to businessmen and general public by introducing the short term relief policies. Dr Firdous also pledged to ensure release of pending Rs500 million special grant announced by federal government for Sialkot International Airport.

Separately during a meeting at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Changez said that people of Balochistan were also loyal to Pakistan, but the dictators had ruined generations of the Baloch people. He added that the Baloch people will cast votes in the upcoming general elections. He urged the government to ensure early announcement of caretaker setup in the country. He said that President Zardari gave a boost to the political setup in the country by giving special powers to the parliament.