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Event Title: Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah Chairs Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research.

Event Date: 2022-10-06

The Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research on Thursday decided to form a sub-committee under the Chair of Senator Naseema Ehsan, having Senators Jam Mehtab Dahar and Seeme Ezdi as its members to probe the matter, put forward by Senator Sarfaraz Bugti, pertaining to tender notice.2-11(1)/2021-22/FPMU, dated 04-10-2021 for the supply of 840,000 Exotic Olive Plants. The Sub-Committee will hold an inquiry and submit the report on the matter to the standing committee in 60 days. Senator Sarfaraz Bugti underlined that the male fide practices have been witnessed in the bidding process honouring only one particular company.
The meeting of the Senate Standing committee on National Food Security and Research was held here at Parliament House on Thursday with Senator Syed Muzafaf Hussain in the Chair. Senators Jam Mehtab Dagar, Naseema Ehsan, and Semee Ezdi attended the meeting while Senators Rana Mahmood ul Hassan and Palwasha Mohammad Zai Khan showed up as movers. Senator Sarfaraz Bugti participated in the meeting as a special invitee. Secretary and Additional Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research, officials from Wapda and water resources and other concerned officials were also in attendance.
Regarding consideration of the bill titled “ The Pakistan Animal Science Council Bill, 2022”, moved by Senator Rana Mahmood ul Hassan, the committee requested the mover to submit the amendment ( clause-wise) to the committee so it would facilitate the   Panel in deciding the alteration to the bill. We can then hear both the mover as well as the experts on the subject which will make it convenient for the committee to give a decision thereon, the Chairman Committee stated.

The deliberation on the bill titled “ The prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( Amendment) Bill, 2022”, moved by Senator Palwasha Mohammad Zai Khan was also deferred till the next meeting with a request for submitting amendments along with the original bill.
The issue of the pending salaries of the employees of the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) was also discussed at length in the meeting. The Ministry stated before the committee that the textile industry will give the ministry its final assessment on cotton Cess by the 15 Oct 2022 to which the Chairman Committee expressed hope that the ministry will take appropriate measures thereafter for ensuring that funds for Research in cotton and payment of salaries be made on a priority basis.

A representation has been made by employees of the Pakistan Cotton Central Committee (PCCC) stating that they are not receiving salaries for the last four months. Then inquiring from the ministry as to the reason thereof the committee was informed that the full payment of cotton cess which under the law, the textile industry has to pay not been settled and that there has been litigation pertaining to the levy of cotton Cess and the amount thereof. According to the statement made by the official from PCCC, it has been stated that the decision regarding the imposition of cess on imported cotton was given by SC in 2019 in their favour but full implementation has not been taken place because the cess is liable to be recovered as arrears of land revenue and the concerned revenue officers have not been able to collect the same. The Chairman committee said that it is a sorry state of affairs that the employees have not been paid for four months. The recoveries that have been made in the last four years are Rs. 1.3 billion, the officials informed. The ministry was directed to submit in the next meeting the progress related to the litigation report and orders of the Peshawar High Court (PHC), Lahore High Court (LHC) and the Supreme Court of Pakistan in connection to the collection of cotton cess from the textile industry and the efforts that have been made for the recovery of Cess. The committee also asked for a detailed presentation in the next meeting regarding new evolution as a result of research in the last 5 years.
In the matter regarding fixing  a uniform minimum support price of wheat, the ministry informed that the summary has been floated to ECC and hoped that it will be taken up in the upcoming meeting of the ECC only then the minimum support price of wheat will be finalised. The committee directed the ministry to expedite the process of fixing uniform support price for wheat because the sowing season in Sindh has already started.

The matter related to the number of breaches that took place in the Left Bank outfall drain (LBOD) and Right Bank Outfall Drain ( RBOD) in the province of Sindh was deferred because the committee was of the view that the Minister for water resource should be present in the committee while discussing the issue.

The committee also directed the concerned officials of the ministry to submit a report on the carry-forward vacancies (quota) of Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the next meeting.