KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to dissolve the Quality Review Committee (QRC) forthwith in view of the no objection received from the law division and consensus of all stakeholders.
Rice exporters are facing very challenging times due to loss in realisation proceeds because of exchange rate and are not in a position to overcome hindrances created by a non commercial organisation devoid of commercial sense.
UNISAME said that the closure of QRC will be for the betterment of the rice industry in Pakistan and will give a free hand to rice exporters to sell their brands and remove hurdles created by the meaningless committee.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver pointed out that it is reported that the federal commerce minister Khurram Dastagir being convinced of the futility of QRC directed the Moc to seek no objection certificate (NOC) from the law division for the closure of the QRC and it is believed that the QRC will be shut down in a couple of days now that the NOC from the law division has been received and notification is likely to be issued for its closure. It is expected that the MoC will also seek audit of all revenues collected since its inception and the huge amounts spent by its managers.
He said the QRC has no locus standi as it is not qualified nor eligible and although just a quality review committee it was posing itself like a pre-shipment inspection (PSI) organisation.
It was was basically formed to protect the basmati label but now that rice is sold by the buyers and the exporters own popular brands and other varieties which are not basmati but more costly and more in demand are flooding the markets and the job of the QRC is futile.
Secondly most of the buyers have their own nominated PSI agency to carry out PSI. QRC never made efforts to get 386 a very popular variety as basmati although in India 386 is considered and approved as basmati but in Pakistan QRC allowed its export underhand as basmati but did not recommend it to be approved as basmati for reasons best known to itself. QRC is devoid of any substantial work as a protector of basmati and in fact is creating hurdles in its exports due to lack of knowledge on the subject.
Needless to state that basically the QRC was formed in violation of the principles of pre-shipment inspection (PSI) and the Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) never recognized and enrolled it as a PSI body because it did not comply with the rules and regulations of the PSQCA and international standards.
A PSI body has to be a joint stock company incorporated and with a capital sufficient to pay claims against irresponsible inspections, it needs to be eligible, qualified and must have DNA facilities and laboratory fully equipped with all measuring and quality assessment equipments. It is very important that it has to be independent, transparent and a third party. It cannot be managed by vested interest.
Thaver said that we fail to understand the delay for the closure of QRC as there is consensus for its closure from all stakeholders and the earlier the MoC says good bye to this organization the better it will be for all.
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