The Senate Committee on Science and Technology on Monday met under the Chairmanship of Sardar Muhammad Shafiq at the Parliament Lodges and received a detail briefing on the working and performance of Pakistan Halal Authority since its establishment. The committee unanimously recommended expediting the process of making the Institute operational. The officials informed the committee that the Pakistan Halal Authority is planning to outsource all the projects deals in public private partnership. The committee lamented the fact that the whole organization is still under a complete halt “how come 18 officials is running the whole institution that too only the administrative and clerical staff without any skilled workers” Shafiq Tareen regretted. The committee members remarked on the shut operations of the Institute and its recruitment that the recruitment process must be expedited the ministry ensured to complete the process within a months time. The Dg Hilal Authority informed the committee that It took him one and a half year to open the Halal Authority account, the committee members remarked that the approval to open bank account can be given by Secretary Science and Technology, How did it take one and a half year for the account to be opened” the Chairman committee questioned and asked who should be responsible for this, Chairman Committee directed to inquire in the matter. The DG halal authority also said that he is the only officer working in the department and require more officers from within the ministry to be a part of this project. The Chairman committee instructed that nomination of 15 officers from within the ministry may be submitted for further decision. The committee sought time to time progress on the same.
Senator Rukhsana Zuberi also recommended the Pakistan Halal Authority to establish countrywide slaughter Houses of International Level, which should be operational during Eid-Ul-Adha in order to maintain hygiene and cleanliness. She said that proper slaughter of the sacrificial animal and thereafter the cleanliness of the Holy offerings is as much sacred a part of religion and maintains the sacredness and integrity of the occasion. She said it will also prevent from diseases spreading because of the unhygienic environment created due to lack of proper mechanism for slaughter of the sacrificial animal. She said that other Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia all have slaughter houses operational and solely for the purpose of Eid-ul-Adha
The committee received a detailed briefing, on development and implementation strategies, plans and programs for promotion of import and export, trade and commerce with foreign countries and inter provincial trade and commerce in Halal articles and processes. The officials on Monday informed the Senate Science and Technology Committee that Pakistan is the third biggest food market in the Muslim World with a size of 108 US billion dollars. The committee was informed that the total world meat market is around $180 billion and that Pakistan is the fourth largest in the Muslim world, it was also informed that Pakistan's share in the meat export market is US 320 million and the country’s export is 0.17 percent, and that Pakistan fails to meet Saudi Arabia's meat standards, however the officials said that Pakistan Halal Authority's agreements with Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia UAE , Qatar Morocco Turkey and South Africa are in the process of completion, assistance is being sought from the Foreign Office for agreements with these countries, and after the MoUs, goods from these countries will not be required at the port, and goods from Pakistan will be able to go to these countries and will also not be checked at the ports of these countries after certification.
Briefing regarding current status of development and authorization of use of Halal logo for Halal article and processes, the fee levied thereof along with the records of persons, firms and companies authorized to use the Halal logo since the establishment of the authority was also taken. The committee was informed that due to non-availability of Human resources in PHA, the organization is not fully operational till date and 10 applications of Halal Certification Bodies (HCB’s) are under process. The committee was informed that the Halal certification process goes through submission of application, Documentation Evaluation, Premise Inspection Audit, Evaluation Inspection/Audit report and Award of certificate and Halal Logo. The officials also informed that the fee for Local halal certification license for any laboratory will be 100,000/-PKR and renewal for 2 years is for 100,000PKR , and fee for foreign HCB’s is 1,000/USD and renewal for 2 years is 1500/-USD . License fee for Halal Logo is 5000 PKR Logo Fee is 0.05pc at ex-factory price with application fee for 2000 and inspection fee for 5000
On the details on inspections being conducted for Halal products and processes along with the details of prohibition of production, storage and sale of any such prohibited products in ICT, the committee was informed that no operational activities of inspection for Halal products and processes are being affected due to non-availability of Human resources
On the briefing on budgetary allocation of Pakistan Halal Authority and its utilization Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi said that the PC-1 should be realistic, most of the time unrealistic PC-1 are being submitted and is one of the main hindrances in completion of projects she said
Earlier in the meeting, the matter of the Concept paper regarding the establishment of tech-Park in Baluchistan for chemical analysis of minerals was also taken up. The officials informed the committee that no such concept paper on establishment of Tech-Park in Baluchistan is submitted, However PCSIR has its Laboratory at Quetta which can be strengthened by enhancing the testing, facilities with regard to chemical analysis of various mineral. It was also informed that the concept paper regarding strengthening of quality evaluation is mineral at PCSIR laboratories, Quetta has been submitted by Chairman Committee commented that lab facilities of PCSIR working in Quetta may be further improved. However, it is a matter of fact that area of Baluchistan is too large and the minerals are present in every district. This committee recommends that two labs, in each northern and southern Baluchistan may kindly be established to utilize the minerals. Senator Anwar ul Haq Kakar also added that Gwadar and Quetta labs cannot cover the requirement of the province. So, its very much needed that two more labs near mine areas may be established.
The meeting Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Dr.Afnan Ullah Khan and Senator Anwar ul Haq Kakar. Senior Officials from the Ministry for Science and Technology and other attached departments were also in attendance.