KARACHI - The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) invited the attention of Tahir Raza Naqvi, the acting chief of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), to the urgent need to join as intervening party in the suit in Sindh High Court (SHC) to decide the fate of the ‘Basmati Trade Mark’ as it is crucial for Pakistani basmati rice stakeholders that the honourable Sindh High Court is in possession of the true facts of the case.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver expressed lack of confidence in the pleadings of the stakeholders and since the matter is of utmost importance it is very necessary that TDAP file its submissions in the honorable SHC in good time before the declaratory decree is issued.

Thaver said since the matter is sub judice it is not proper to comment on the subject but nevertheless as member of the National Committee on SMEs (NCSMEs) he has to advocate the cause of the SMEs by virtue of the reference which empowers him to speak on any subject which is in the interest of the SMEs.

He pointed out that the judgement in any suit is based on the facts of the case, the pleadings, the sustainable arguments and on the basis of equity and best interest of justice and the SMEs have full confidence in the SHC but it is of prime importance that the ownership rights of the rice exporters are brought to the knowledge of the honourable court.

He said the stakeholders have pleaded half halfheartedly and not submitted complete facts of the case, the SME rice exporters are apprehensive that in view of lack of sufficient arguments the matter of ownership of trade mark may be unfavourable and as such it is essential that TDAP join the suit as intervening party and submit valid arguments.

He said since most of the big exporters are in the business of non basmati rice and the basmati exports are made by the SMEs and few big exporters it is very important that the ownership is not given to any group or body but remains the right of the country and TDAP remains the custodian.

However it is up to the honorable court to decide and the decision no doubt would be respected by all the stakeholders but it is advisable that TDAP without loss of time examine the case fully and submit application as intervening party to safegaurd the interest of all the basmati stakeholders in its true perspective without fear or favour.