All measures will be taken against infiltration of commodity based diseases into Pakistan: Quarantine Department

KARACHI: Director General (Quarantine), Department Plant Protection Dr. Falak Naz on Tuesday said that all measures will be taken to save country from infiltration of any disease into Pakistan.

 

Addressing a meeting at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) he said: “DPP has to ensure quality imports and quality exports at any cost. Therefore, the department has to adopt stringent measures to save the country from infiltration of any disease through the imported commodities.”

Dr. Falak Naz stated that many issues pertaining to extensive tests and delays in issuance of import permits and certifications were not so complicated and can be resolved.

He said that DPP would accordingly take steps to ease the overall process and provide relief to both – the importers and the exporters.

“We will frequently hold dialogues and maintain interactions with KCCI in order to resolve the issues being faced by traders as we want to create an enabling environment for everyone,” he added.

Dr. Falak Naz agreed to form a joint committee in association with Karachi Chamber with a view to timely resolve numerous issues being faced by the importers and exporters of various commodities whose consignments remain stuck up at ports for many days causing severe losses on account of demurrages and detention.

Dr. Falak Naz advised KCCI to finalize nominations for the joint committee comprising relevant stakeholders while the formation of this Committee and its nominations from DPP will be decided in the next internal meeting of the department.

Speaking on the occasion, Director Technical DPP Dr. Muhammad Tariq Khan said that most of the issues raised by members of the business community were due to communication gap and lack of information which was being addressed.

In this regard, DPP has developed a vibrant website which would provide many facilities and detailed information, besides enabling the stakeholders to fulfill most of the DPP requirements online as we are keen to ease the process by focusing more on the online facilities.

“We have funds available for maintaining this website which will be launched within the next few days,” he added.
He was of the opinion that issues being highlighted by representatives of business community were hardly 10 percent of the overall operations as 90 percent of the activities at DPP were going on smoothly.

Earlier, President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, in his welcome address, pointed out that the importers complain of difficult procedures and delays in getting all the requirements and testing completed.

Sometimes, they are forced to extend under the table payments in addition to the official testing fees while at time a substantial quantity of the imported product was taken by the authorities in the name of sample for testing which require special attention.

He was of the opinion that the importers have to run from pillar to post to obtain all the certificates as all the facilities are not available at the point of customs clearance or even near the vicinity.

Moreover, all the procedures are manual involving submission of application along with all the required documents and if the case is approved, they are required to submit a bank challan of National Bank of Pakistan to collect the certificate which usually takes from 3 to 16 or more days to get the certificate, provided there is not a single deficiency in the documents submitted, he added.

Getting all these NOCs and approvals from so many diverse departments is also a very difficult procedure and make the importer vulnerable to harassment, corruption and bribes at multiple levels, Junaid Makda said, adding that DPP is regularly blamed for descending exports because of its relaxed approach, lack of required infrastructure and professional leadership.

He requested DG Quarantine to simplify procedures and create some kind of liaison between KCCI and DPP to minimize the grievances being faced by traders.

“In this regard, a joint committee between KCCI and DPP is a good option which can be formed to resolve the issues being faced by traders,” he added.

Senior Vice President KCCI Khurram Shahzad, Vice President KCCI Asif Sheikh Javaid, Chairman Customs & Valuation Subcommittee Waseem-ur-Rehman, Former President Haroon Agar, Former Senior Vice President Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Former Vice President Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Managing Committee Members and other stakeholders attended the meeting.

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