ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile Monday desired that the rules should be framed keeping in view expeditious resolution of the disputes while drafting Trade Dispute Resolution Act, 2018.

The bill is aimed at providing swift and effective resolution of disputes relating to the export as well as import.

It will help in promoting international trade in Pakistan by aligning trade governance with international best practices including WTO and United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) models.

Under this Act, Trade Dispute Resolution Commission will be established with its headquarters at Islamabad and regional offices at provincial capitals including AJK. However, the detailed rules are under preparation.

Formation of a Trade Dispute Resolution Commission (TDRC) has been proposed that would work under the administrative control of Ministry of Commerce with same powers as vested in a civil court for swift and effective resolution of disputes relating to the export and import of goods and services including import and export through e-commerce.

Meeting was apprised that Intellectual Property Organization (IPO), in compliance with Committee’s directions, is in coordination with the concerned quarters to establish its regional offices at Peshawar and Quetta. Draft IPO Rules are under review at Establishment and Finance Divisions. For complaint resolution, IPO has established Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting Cells at Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. IPO is actively coordinating with IP tribunals, Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore for timely disposal of IP cases. The Committee directed to finalize rules in this regard at the earliest.

The petition filed by Royal Group for promotion of the pharmaceutical exports to non-traditional markets was also discussed.

It was apprised that the pharmaceutical sector plays a vital role in manufacturing sector by generating employment and attracting investment. Despite a declining trend in the overall exports, the pharmaceutical export has registered an increase of 26% over the last 5 years from $169.6 million (2012-13) to $213 million (2016-17).

The petitioner had invited the attention of the Committee that their customs rebate has not been paid for the last 5 years and payment of sales tax is pending for the last 3 years.