January 17, 2013
Showing serious concerns over the decision of Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to take the control of Quality Review Committee (QRC), the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) has threatened the government to stop export of rice. This decision of MoC and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) would promote corruption and mismanagement in the committee besides creating immense problems to exporters.
REAP members, in a meeting held on Tuesday in Lahore, have threatened the government that they have the options to export rice without producing the certificate of QRC or completely stop export of the commodity which may fall heavily on the country’s economy.
The MoC vide a notification bearing number 4(10)/05-E superseded public notice dated March 3, 1999 and taken fiscal and other control of the QRC and placed it under the control of Director General (DG) Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) as its chairman.
According to sources, rice exporters have also expressed concerns over the government’s decision to nominate the DG TDAP from Lahore as head of the QRC despite the fact that 98 percent of exports were being made from Karachi. “Exporters will stop exports if the ministry keeps QRC under control of TDAP,” said an exporter adding that the complete deletion of the committee could also be an option acceptable to the exporters.
The government’s decision was, however, welcomed by small exporters who had concerns about the previous status of QRC under REAP. In a letter sent to TDAP, the small exporters have claimed that the QRC under REAP was not qualified for inspecting the rice consignments shipped to global destinations.
The government authorities were misguided by the big exporters who wanted to control the rice business. They let the body exist despite court rulings and strong objections from Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), it said. No body can carry out pre-shipment inspection (PSI) of cargo without permission from PSQCA who issues the licence on the basis of qualification compliance and the most important point was the fact that PSI was always carried out by a third party and never by the parties involved. Small exporters and their organisation UNISAME have strongly objections over PSI by QRC.