FAISALABAD-The Pakistan Standard & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) certified standards of 109 products including 38 food and 81 non-food items in Pakistan, said PSQCA Director General Khalid Siddque.

During his visit to Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI), he had a meeting with Senior Vice President Sheikh Farooq Yousaf and discussed with him various issues of mutual interests.

He said that the world had become a global village while international trade was its lifeline. He said that the products must have well defined standards for their marketing. He said that different countries had different standards but they had to either adopt universally acknowledged standards or harmonise their standards to continue trade between different countries having different standards of the same product.

He said that there were millions of standards of different items but Pakistan had adopted around 22,390 standards of different products. Out of these, Pakistan had developed its own standards of only 6,000 products while the remaining had been adopted in their original form, he said.

To a question, Khalid Siddque said that the list of mandatory certification continued to change in accordance with the prevailing circumstances. The updating of the list was a continuous process and currently the new list was in its final stage. He said that PSQCA had done extensive working on bottled water, tea whitener, skin creams and shampoos etc. Similarly, out of total 25 brands of milk, 22 have got licences from PSQCA; one case was under process while 2 cases were under litigation.

Responding to the standards of various items, he said, most of the local manufacturers as well as importers were unaware of these standards. He said that PSQCA had chalked out a two pronged strategy. In the first phase, awareness sessions about the standard of various products would be arranged in different chambers including FCCI while in second phase checking of these products will be started on the spot, he detailed.

It will encourage the manufacturing as well as import of only quality products, he said. He further said that the objective of the campaign was not to harm anybody but to encourage consumer friendly culture in the country.

He said that PSQCA was mailing the standards of the various products to almost 11 thousand stakeholders on daily basis including the manufacturers, exporters and importers from Faisalabad.

He said that PSQCA was working with Edible Oil Association to prepare a new and comprehensive policy which would be implementing very soon. He said that it had also introduced an apps one mobile phone through which people could download and confirm the list of licensed products.

He further said that the Authority had issued 465 licences during last year. However, in first six months of current year, another 150 licences had also been issued.

"PSQCA is also taking measures to speed up the issuance of new incences on emergency bases," he added. About the duplication of Punjab Food Authority and PSQCA, he said that the issue would be resolved very soon in consultation with the concerned department.

He clarified that PSQCA could only check the licensed and packed products whereas Punjab Food Authority has mandate to check the loose products too. However, he quoted a universal law that in such cases, the Federal law supersedes the provincial laws.

He said that during the enforcement stage, qualified staff would be deputed to check the products preferably at the manufacturing stage. However, imported and unlicensed products could also be removed from major stores and outlets, he added.