Sindh government urged to set up consumer courts
Speakers at a conference urged the Sindh government for establishment of Sindh Food Authority ( SFA) as well as consumer courts to ensure consumers' rights with immediate effect. The demand came at the 10th Food Safety and Quality Conference- 2017 which was organised by Consumer Association of Pakistan ( CAP) in collaboration with PSQCA and Malaysian Palm Oil Board Webmail System (MPOB) here at a local hotel.
Chairman CAP Kaukab Iqbal in his welcome address said that food safety has become a crucial issue for the consumers in the contemporary business scenario with growing competition among business rivals. It's high time to kick off combined efforts to ensure quality foodstuff to the consumers at every level.
Kaukab said the Consumer Protection Act has been unanimously passed by the Sindh Assembly three years back enabling consumers a platform where they would be able to get respect as well as entertained for redressal of their grievances.
He also underscored need for implementation on the very act across the country with a true spirit.
He deplored that Sindh Government ignored the core issue to set up consumer courts and provincial food authority despite several requests and recommendations by his organization. Comparing, he said, the Punjab has already established the food authority which has been taking stern actions against counterfeit products.
The chief guest, Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister on Information Science and Technology, Dr Sikandar Ali Shoro, said the provincial food authority has already been approved by the cabinet in March last. However, he added that rules and regulations are being formulated in this regard. He vowed to take up the demands raised in the conference with CM Syed Murad Ali Shah.
"Consumer sensitisation is pivotal to create quality culture in the country." he said asking the stakeholders to make collective efforts, besides sharing valued recommendations with the provincial government for the protection of consumer rights.
Director General Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority ( PSQCA) Kahalid Siddiqui termed conference a step in the right direction to aware people about the importance of standardization. PSQCA being the sole national standard body is fully aware about the substandard counterfeit products. "I assure you that PSQCA will not let counterfeiters free or unchecked in Pakistan."
He said that PSQCA has decided to impose a ban on sale of open oil and ghee in the county as advertisements in this connections are being published in newspapers. Production of ghee and oil be ensured as per set standards of the PSQCA. Violators would be dealt with in accordance with the law. As per rough estimates, some 400 tons of substandard open oil and ghee is being sold in Karachi on a daily basis, putting the citizens' live at high risk.
Highlighting the significance of standardization, Khalid said standards are becoming a pillar of the new global trade system. Today's increasingly globalized trading environment, international standards are powerful tools to lead positive change for spurring economic growth, adapt to climate change and open up global markets.
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