KCCI con­cerned over DPP's un­nec­es­sary hin­drances in im­ports

The Financial Daily - - NATIONAL -

KARACHI: Pres­i­dent Karachi Cham­ber of Com­merce & In­dus­try (KCCI) Ju­naid Es­mail Makda has ex­pressed deep con­cern over the un­nec­es­sary hin­drances be­ing cre­ated by the De­part­ment of Plant Pro­tec­tion (DPP) in smooth clear­ance of con­sign­ments of var­i­ous com­modi­ties in­clud­ing pulses, which was caus­ing se­vere to im­porters on ac­count of heavy de­mur­rage and de­ten­tion charges, says a Press re­lease.

While re­fer­ring to a meet­ing with a del­e­ga­tion from Pak­istan Pulses Im­porters As­so­ci­a­tion (PPIA) held re­cently to dis­cuss this par­tic­u­lar is­sue, Pres­i­dent KCCI pointed out that although the rel­e­vant im­porters had been sup­ply­ing these com- modi­ties with­out any trou­ble since last many years but dur­ing the last one­and-a-half year, DPP has started de­mand­ing to pro­duce the Phyto-san­i­tary cer­tifi­cate in which NonGMO (Ge­net­i­cally Mod­i­fied Crop) must be men­tioned.

"It is purely an un­just de­mand as the Pak­istan Plant Quar­an­tine Act 1976 and Pak­istan Quar­an­tine Rules 1967 re­main silent about the Non-GMO re­quire­ment", he added.

He said that Pak­istan, de­spite be­ing an agri­cul­tural coun­try, has been im­port­ing pulses and other com­modi­ties since past many years due to ex­ces­sive de­mand of these com­modi­ties and limited lo­cal pro­duc­tion yet the im­porters, in­stead of be­ing ap­pre­ci­ated for en­sur­ing smooth sup­ply of es­sen­tial com­modi­ties in the lo­cal mar­kets, were be­ing pe­nal­ized by cre­at­ing such hur­dles.

With a view to pro­vide re­lief, Ju­naid Makda sought nec­es­sary amend­ments or some kind of a clar­i­fi­ca­tion from the Min­istry of Food and Agri­cul­ture.

He was of the view that Quar­an­tine De­part­ments of the ex­port­ing coun­tries should be ad­vised to write Non-GMO in the phy­tosan­i­tary cer­tifi­cates as it has been ob­served that only a few coun­tries men­tion Non-GMO in phy­tosan­i­tary cer­tifi­cates while many oth­ers sim­ply do not men­tion Non-GMO in the said cer­tifi­cate, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for Pak­istani im­porters to ful­fill this con­di­tion laid down by DPP op­er­at­ing un­der the Min­istry of Food and Agri­cul­ture.

While stress­ing the govern­ment to take im­me­di­ate steps to re­solve this is­sue, Ju­naid Makda sug­gested that un­til the rel­e­vant reg­u­la­tions are not amended and stream­lined, the im­porters of nu­mer­ous com­modi­ties should be al­lowed to con­tinue im­port­ing on pre­vi­ous terms and con­di­tions up to De­cem­ber 2018. "Mean­while, the Quar­an­tine De­part­ments of the ex­port­ing coun­tries should also be re­quested to clearly men­tion NonGMO in phyto-san­i­tary cer­tifi­cates and if they fail to do so, the im­porters should not be held re­spon­si­ble for some­one else's in­com­pe­tence and in­ef­fi­ciency", he added.

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