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NA committee over GMO oilseed import ends in disagreement



ISLAMABAD: In a battle that’s more and more turning into ugly, after the minister of meals safety exchanged harsh phrases with oilseed importers in a session of the nationwide meeting’s standing committee for meals safety.

The difficulty has been ongoing since October, when two shipments of significant GMO oilseeds had been stopped at Port Qasim in Karachi as a result of they didn’t have the required certification from the local weather change  ministry. 

Learn extra: Oilseeds vessels stay caught at port as confusion prevails between ministries

The assembly of the standing committee on Wednesday began off on the improper foot after the minister for meals safety, Tariq Bashir Cheema, walked into the assembly the place oilseed importers had been additionally current. The minister took exception to this, saying that representatives of soybean importers weren’t welcome at a gathering of a parliamentary committee. 

Through the assembly of the standing committee chaired by MNA Rao Ajmal, minister for meals safety Tariq Bashir Cheema engaged in verbal blows with oilseed importers. The minister mentioned that the import of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is just not allowed in Pakistan. 

“You your self depart the session,” the importers consultant responded to the minister. “9 vessels with GMO soybean cargo have been seized over unlawful cargo. Customs Intelligence has ceased ships. We couldn’t be a part of any unlawful follow,” Cheema burdened. “GMO soybean causes most cancers thus its import has not been allowed,” he additional mentioned.

“Evidently the chairman of the committee has additionally develop into an advocate of soyabean importers,” he mentioned. At this, committee chairman Rao Ajmal and Tariq Bashir exchanged harsh phrases over the remark. 

“I’m going to adjourn the committee session if Mr. Cheeman doesn’t take again his phrases,” he warned. “I’m not advocating for anybody. The poultry trade has been on the verge of destruction, and 10 of my 12 farms have closed down but I haven’t used my place to try to affect something. Why would I be doing this now?”

“Solely import of non-GMO soybean has been allowed. The US ambassador had additionally referred to as on me for clearance of soyabean vessels,” the meals minister retorted. “Give one-time clearance to soybean vessels,” he requested. “How can Pakistan permit a factor, which has been banned within the USA,” the minister mentioned.

Later, chatting with Revenue,  Nawab Shehzad Ali Khan, consultant of All Pakistan Solvent Extractors’ Affiliation (APSEA), mentioned no progress has been made concerning the clearance of the vessels. “Let’s see who wins,” he mentioned, indicating the variations and fights between the meals minister and importers.

The Committee condemned within the strongest phrases the misbehavior and abusive language utilized by Mr. Shahid Abdullah, Director Technical Division of Plant Safety (DPP) M/o Nationwide Meals Safety and Analysis throughout the assembly of the Committee. The Committee directed the Secretary, NFS&R to right away take sturdy disciplinary motion must be taken in opposition to him and a compliance report subsequently be despatched to the Committee on the earliest.  

The assembly was additionally attended by MNAs together with Riaz ul Haq, Ahmad Raza Maneka, Ch. Faqir Ahmed, Syed Javed Ali Shah Jillani, Mr. Kamal Ud-din, and senior officers/ officers from the Ministry of NFS&R, Ministry of Local weather Change and DPP.

As per paperwork accessible with this scribe, no less than 257 vessels of oilseed have been imported by Pakistan from 2017 to February 2022 with out GMO take a look at or certification out of which 132 vessels fumigated by DPP. In 2021 53 vessels had been imported out of which 45 vessels had been fumigated by the division. Until February 2022 no less than six vessels of oilseed had been imported and the identical had been fumigated. At the moment six vessels of oilseed had been caught up at port whereas one other three vessels had been on their solution to Pakistan.



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Govt prone to hand over loss-making energy firms to Pakistan Military



The federal government has determined handy over the administration of loss-making energy distribution firms (Discos) to the military and different legislation enforcement businesses to crack down on electrical energy theft and enhance invoice restoration.

The Information reported, quoting sources, that the Energy Division has ready a plan to determine Efficiency Monitoring Models (PMUs) in each Disco that’s dealing with excessive losses and low restoration. The PMUs shall be headed by a serving brigadier and may have officers from the Federal Investigation Company (FIA) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as a part of their workers.

The PMUs may have the mandate to determine and take motion in opposition to the corrupt parts inside the Discos and the shoppers who’re concerned in stealing electrical energy or not paying their payments.

Nonetheless, the plan is but to be authorized by the upper authorities, however the Energy Division is eager to implement it as a pilot venture within the Hyderabad Electrical Provide Firm (HESCO), which has one of many worst efficiency data among the many Discos.

It’s pertinent to say that Pakistan’s energy sector is dealing with an enormous monetary disaster as a result of excessive losses and low restoration of the Discos.

In line with the info for the fiscal 12 months 2020-21, the restoration of electrical energy payments in HESCO was at 73.7 %, in Sukkur Electrical Energy Firm (SEPCO) at 64.6 %, in Quetta Electrical Provide Firm (QESCO) at 34.66 % and in Tribal Electrical Provide Firm (TESCO) at 25.29 %.

The Energy Division secretary confirmed that the plan was into consideration and stated it will assist scale back the losses and enhance the revenues of the ability sector.

He stated the plan was impressed by the profitable operation of the army-led Process Power on Energy in Karachi, which has introduced down the losses of the Karachi Electrical Provide Firm (KESC) from 40 % to 18 % within the final two years.

The caretaker power minister had introduced a crackdown on electrical energy thieves on September 6, 2023, saying that the system was shedding Rs589 billion yearly because of theft and non-payment of payments.

He had stated that the Discos in Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan and Islamabad had losses of three %, whereas the Discos in Peshawar, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Quetta and Azad Jammu and Kashmir had losses as excessive as 60 %.

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FBR deploys monitoring groups to sugar mills to curb tax evasion



The Federal Board of Income (FBR) has taken decisive steps to counter tax evasion inside the sugar trade, by deploying monitoring groups to sugar mills throughout the nation, in accordance with a prèss launch issued on Wednesday.

Sugar, recognized as a notified product, is subjected to rigorous monitoring, overlaying manufacturing, gross sales, clearances, shares, and associated actions. The press launch emphasizes the obligatory affixation of tax stamps on each bag of sugar produced or equipped.

Violation of this requirement constitutes a punishable offense underneath Part 33(23) of the Act, with merchandise liable to confiscation. Convicted defaulters may additionally face imprisonment for as much as three years.

The FBR, invoking Part 40-B of the Gross sales Tax Act 1990, has tasked its area formations with monitoring the gross sales of sugar manufacturing in all sugar mills nationwide. Tax officers at these mills will scrutinize inventory clearances by a manually put in system of tax stamps on sugar luggage.

Below the enforcement provision of the gross sales tax regulation, the FBR or chief commissioner has the authority to assign an officer of Inland Income to the premises of a registered particular person or a category of such individuals to watch manufacturing, gross sales of taxable items, and inventory positions.

The initiative goals to make sure compliance with tax laws and improve transparency inside the sugar trade.

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Fauji Cement expands manufacturing 6,500 tons/day with new Greenfield Plant



Fauji Cement Firm Restricted (FCCL) introduced on Thursday that it has efficiently commissioned its new Greenfield Cement Manufacturing Plant in Shadan Lund, District Der Ghazi Khan.

The plant has a manufacturing capability of 6,500 tons per day of clinker, which is a key ingredient for making cement, the FCCL knowledgeable Pakistan Inventory Change by way of a inventory submitting.

The brand new plant has elevated the overall cement manufacturing capability of FCCL to 10.6 million tons each year, making it the third-largest cement producer within the nation. The corporate additionally mentioned that the brand new plant has state-of-the-art manufacturing tools, emissions management options, and a waste warmth restoration energy plant.

FCCL mentioned that the brand new plant is not going to solely present a livelihood to the locals, however may also assist in the most important uplift of the realm. The corporate has initiated a number of company social accountability tasks, resembling offering clear ingesting water, healthcare, photo voltaic techniques, and training to the disadvantaged communities in Shadan Lund.

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