KARACHI - Poultry sector that falls under livestock has expressed grave concern on reported non-discriminatory market access being granted to India this week citing the drawbacks factor faces due to flawed government policies.

In a letter written to the Secretary of Ministry of Commerce, the senior vice president of Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) Khalil Sattar has pointed out various reforms that government needs to take before opening poultry sector for the Indians.

He said initially the poultry farmers were producing the electricity from self installed generators as the power in most of the rural areas was unavailable which had increased the operating expense.  This obviously increases the cost of poultry production in Pakistan as India poultry farmers get assured power supply at zero or subsidised rates much lower than their Pakistani counterparts.

He further pointed towards security situation in remote areas which again is an unnecessary expenditure while another drawback was the fear of kidnapping of technical staff during the visit of poultry farms in the rural areas, he added.

He said poultry can only be exported if a country has a system that ensures monitoring and disease surveillance. Moreover, he added that the state is required to issue the eradication list and list of noted diseases. He further added India would exploit these flaws and impose ban on poultry imports from Pakistan. India has taken all preventive and safety steps required internationally for export of poultry and would be able to export its products to Pakistan.

He pointed out that trade with India would open the way for import of cheaper poultry feed from India.

This would stop the use of five million tons of local poultry feed that comprises of rice tips, corn, wheat bran, oil seed meals, sugarcane and molasses. This would create downward pressure of rates of these agricultural residues and impact the farmers badly. He stressed on the fact that Pakistan needs a strong viable and operative National Tariff Commission to check the import of subsidised products from India. Before giving MFN status to India the NTC should be strengthened and made fully operational. PPA president hoped that in view of these apprehensions poultry would be placed in the negative list in trade with India.