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Event Title: Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology Chaired by Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen

Event Date: 2022-02-16

In order to shift the headquarter of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) from Karachi, the Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology on Wednesday ratified the “Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022” by a majority vote. Senator Rukhsana Zuberi and Senator Kamran Murtaza opposed the bill. As the amendment bill doesn’t mention the name of the city to where the HQ would be moved, the Chairman Committee recommended including the name “Federal Capital” in the amendment bill as per the desire of the ministry.

The Chairman Committee also sought details from the ministry in the next meeting regarding the non-utilization of the allocated funds in due time.

 

Islamabad, 16 Feb 202: The Senate Standing committee on Science and Technology met here at Parliament House on Wednesday. The meeting was chaired by Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen. The meeting discussed in detail the “Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022”, moved by Senator Kaida Babar. Officials from the ministry and Senators lent their insight on the amendment bill.

The Chairman committee doubted the shifting of PSQCA headquarter from Karachi and said that Karachi is the economic hub of the country which generates the maximum revenue. What would be the effect of relocating the organization, he inquired? The official from the ministry while responding to the query asserted that in an emergency it is difficult and time-consuming to travel from ISB-Karachi and vice verse, therefore, being think tank of the Ministry, PSQCA needs to be shifted from Karachi to Islamabad as all the  Headquarters and the Ministry sit here in the capital. The Acting Director-General PSQCA informed the committee that out of 800 employees 300 are in Karachi, adding that the ministry simply wants to shift the operational setup (including policy decision-makers) to Islamabad. He maintained that only 30 employees, inter alia, including Director General, Director, Director Legal, Director Finance and Director Human Resources will be relocated.

Minister for Science and Technology underlined that PSQCA is an important organization and indispensable for checking the quality and standard of those items and commodities which are imported/exported. The Chairman Committee contended that it has been revealed through some files which show a high tendency of corruption in the aforementioned organization but no steps are being taken to eradicate corruption from the organization. The Minister underscored that policies are afoot and measures are being taken to eradicate the menace from the organization. We want to make PSQCA more productive while following the footprints of international organisations, he added. Senator Rukhsana Zuberi asked how the PSQCA check the quality of imported goods to which the Minister for Science and Technology replied that a comprehensive system is present for checking the standard and quality of the items. The standards for fans and geysers have been set up while design and effectiveness are being observed for which PSQCA laboratories have also been structured. We are proceeding towards increasing the existing 166 standards and added that the organization is working closely with the Food Authority to improve the quality of food.

After discussing the bill in detail, the standing committee passed the amendment bill by a majority vote. Senator Rukhsana Zuberi and Senator Kamran Murtaza opposed the bill.  Senator Kamran Murtaza was of the view that the harmony among the provinces might get affected by this amendment therefore he doesn’t favour the bill. Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz assured the committee that PSQCA would also be set up in Gwadar while upgrading the existing one in Quetta.  

Senators Fawzia Arshad, Sana Jamali, Hamayun Mohmand, Rukhsana Zuberi and Kamran Murtaza attended the meeting. Minister for Science and Technology, Shibli Faraz, Secretary of the Ministry and Acting Director General PSQCA also participated in the meeting.