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Event Title: Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research Presiding over a Meeting of the Committee at Parliament House Islamabad.

Event Date: 2023-02-16

To resolve the matter pertaining to the export of meat from Pakistan to Afghanistan, the Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research which met under the Chair of Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah here on Thursday at Parliament house recommended that the matter to be taken up by the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to negotiate with the Afghan Authorities so that an amicable solution to the issue can be found at the earliest.

Earlier, while briefing the committee the representative from the Livestock welfare association informed the Committee that the export of meat to Afghanistan has been outlawed for months by the Afghan government citing the reason that the Afghan government through Fatwa has declared frozen meat Haram(forbidden). The concerned official called the Fatwa the wrong and misguided one. The Committee was informed that meat from Pakistan is usually exported in three forms i.e Vacuums, Chilled and Froze, adding that as of now there are 35 slaughterhouses in Pakistan. The Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research informed that the process has been started to export meat from Pakistan to China and a Memorandum of understanding has already been signed with China in this regard, he underlined.

The Committee has been informed about progress in the recovery of the cotton Cess from the textile sector which is levied on the consumption of cotton (imported and Local). The Committee has on numerous occasions pointed out that the research on Cotton is facing an acute crisis since 2016 because of the non-recovery of the Cotton Cess from those elements who were liable to pay. The law on cotton cess states that the eventuality that the cotton Cess is not paid by the party who is liable to do so then under such circumstances the amount in question, is liable to be recovered as the arrears of the land revenue.

The Committee expressed a deep sense of concern and anxiety that despite the provision of law which is available for the recovery of cotton Cess, no tangible efforts have been made for the recovery of the same by revenue officers from the textile sector which is mainly located in the province of Punjab. Accordingly, the committee requested the Chief Minister Punjab to attend the next meeting of the committee to brief the committee on the appropriate measures taken for the recovery of Cotton Cess which continues to be a matter of a very urgent and serious nature.

The Ministry was requested to ask the council to appear on behalf of the party concerning the recovery of local Cess in the Lahore High Court and to brief the Committee on the number of pending cases and the progress made thereunder.

The committee also directed the ministry to submit a detailed breakup of Cotton Cess due from the textile mills with details; giving the name of the textile mill, the amount due from 2016, How much amount is paid, the remaining amount and the province-wise breakup of textile mills along with total due amount.

The Committee also sought browsing from the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee ( PCCC) in the next meeting on the work done so far in terms of research and development of Cotton in Pakistan Over the last 5 years. The Ministry was directed to brief the Committee on progress made in relation to the committee constituted under the Chairmanship of SAPM concerning payment of salaries to the employees of the PCCC. The Committee also sought a list of employees and scientists engaged in the work of research and other employees concerning their assignments and duties. The Secretary informed that we are working on creating an endowment fund that will be solely dedicated to research.

The Ministry briefed the committee regarding the PSDP projects for FY2022-2023. A presentation was made by the Chairman PARC about ongoing projects of PSDP. The Committee examined the projects and recommended that the same may be incorporated into PSDP as far as the new projects are concerned the Chairman PARC was directed to initiate the process concerning their inclusion subject to their feasibility.

The Committee also instructed Chairman PARC to include projects related to the development of the high-value Camel Milk powder and induction of high-value Date palm varieties in the PSDP.