Se­nate body for ban on cot­ton im­port from In­dia via Wa­gah

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

Cur­rency Sell­ing Buy­ing

MIAN AR­SHAD ISLAMABAD—The Se­nate Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Na­tional Food Se­cu­rity and Re­search, Wed­nes­day, ob­served that im­port of cot­ton lint from In­dia via Wa­gah bor­der was detri­men­tal to the in­ter­est of cot­ton grow­ers in the coun­try and should be im­me­di­ately stopped. The com­mit­tee met here with Se­na­tor Muzaf­far Hus­sain Shah in the chair and also pointed out that last year’s cot­ton pro­duc­tion de­clined by as much as 30% and if ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures are not taken this year, the coun­try will see de­cline in cot­ton pro­duc­tion.

The com­mit­tee ob­served that there were suf­fi­cient stocks with the Trad­ing Cor­po­ra­tion of Pak­istan, there is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for im­port. Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Na­tional food se­cu­rity and re­search Sikan­dar Hayat Bosan fully en­dorsed the view that the im­port via Wa­gah should be im­me­di­ately stopped. The com­mit­tee re­quested the min­istry of Com­merce to con­sider this rec­om­men­da­tion on pri­or­ity ba­sis. The com­mit­tee was also told that the agri­cul­ture min­is­ter of Pun­jab has re­quested the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to fix in­ter­ven­tion price for cot­ton. The com­mit­tee fully en­dorsed this point and rec­om­mended that the same may be done as early as pos­si­ble as the new crop is likely to come by the end of June.

The min­is­ter told the meet­ing that the plant breed­ers Rights (Amend­ment) Bill, 2015 will be passed shortly by the Na­tional As­sem­bly. The com­mit­tee noted that af­ter the pas­sage of the bill, it has been pointed out that many out­lets es­pe­cially of cot­ton seed are not be­ing checked for qual­ity. The com­mit­tee also ob­served that the scarcity of staff of­fices of the depart­ment who have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to check the seed is lead­ing to prob­lems in seed cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. The min­istry was asked to come up with pro­pos­als on how to en­sure good qual­ity seeds for farm­ers.

The com­mit­tee also di­rected that trac­tors should also be in­cluded in the com­pul­sory list of ve­hi­cles, which con­ferred the au­thor­ity to min­istry of sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy to check the stan­dards of ve­hi­cles for agri­cul­ture. It was also said that for pur­pose of au­then­tic in­for­ma­tion, it is nec­es­sary to have a lab­o­ra­tory af­fil­i­ated with Pak­istan Na­tional Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Coun­cil to check com­pat­i­bil­ity of ve­hi­cles with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. ZTBL and KSSL told the com­mit­tee that they are in the process of com­plet­ing the ex­er­cise of re­cruit­ment on merit which will be com­pleted by the end of this month. MD KSSL wasa di­rected to be in a po­si­tion to brief the com­mit­tee about the process. MD PASSCO was also di­rected to­take nec­es­sary steps to en­sure that new cen­tres in Tando Muham­mad Khan, UmerKot, Sang­har, Mir Pur Khaas for wheat pro­cure­ment are no­ti­fied by the Gov­ern­ment of Sindh.

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