Lahore - The Rice Exporters Association has feared a huge decline in basmati rice export due to inconsistent policies of the government, severe energy crisis and bureaucratic hurdled created by the Quality Review Committee of TDAP.

Addressing the farewell ceremony, which was held to welcome the upcoming chairman Masood Iqbal and pay tribute to the services of the outgoing vice chairman Ch Samee Ullah, the members said that they have given the vice chairman full mandate to abolish the QRC in case the bureaucratic hurdles are not removed in way of export.

The Rice Exporters Association North Zone on Tuesday held a farewell ceremony in honour of its outgoing vice chairman Ch Samee Ullah, appreciating the steps taken by him for strengthening the role of association in rice export enhancement.

The ceremony was attended by former chairman Javed Islam Agha, Shahzad Ali Malik and ex-vice chairman Tariq Aziz.

Tariq Aziz lauded the services of Mr. Samee Ullah and wished him success in future, whose tenure as a vice chairman of the REAP is going to expire on Sept 31.

He said that the production of rice in Pakistan has remained static at around 5 million tons annually but the export earnings have increased two fold in the last 4 years from $ 570 million to $2 billion, which was only possible by building up the perception of Pakistani rice by the leaders of the REAP, including Samee Ullah Ch. He said that the task had required unified, consistent and innovative campaign and efforts from the stage of REAP, which was fulfilled with whole commitment by both the chairman as well as the vice chairman.

Samee Ullah Ch, addressing the farewell party expressed his gratitude to the office-bearers and senior staff for the support and guidance provided to him during his tenure in office, besides wishing the new management good luck for the improvement of the rice sector.

Highlighting the key features of his tenure, he said the Association got legalized the 386 rice variety by the Punjab Seed Council which was pending since 1990.

He said that due to the efforts of REAP, the process of approval of six acre land for rice technical institute is in final stage, where he also announced to set up state of the art technical training institute through EDF Funds.

He informed that association sent teams to South Africa to explore the new rice market while another delegation is ready for S Arabia which are dominant by the Indian rice varieties.

He also announced that CM Shahbaz Sharif has consented to be chief guest at the upcoming Reap export trophy award. Samee expressed hope that newly elected government with the help of the REAP new management will play its vital role for the betterment of rice export, besides resolving problems being faced by the rice exporters.