Event Title: Senator Zeeshan Khanzada, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Commerce Presiding over a Meeting of the Committee at Parliament House Islamabad
Event Date: 2024-02-01
A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce was held today in Parliament House, presided over by Senator Zeeshan Khanzada.
The committee members expressed dissatisfaction at the absence of the Commerce Minister. They extensively discussed issues with chilled meat, including concerns regarding the Animal Quarantine Department's (AQD) certification and the negative portrayal of Pakistan in newspapers due to fungus-infected meat. Deputy Chairman Senator Mirza Muhammad Khan Afridi advised ministry officials to refrain from opening containers suspected of temperature errors to maintain smooth regulation and uphold Pakistan's reputation. Senator Danesh Kumar proposed legal action against shipping lines and auditing their processes to ensure accountability. Chairperson Senator Zeeshan Khanzada emphasized that the AQD initially certified Pakistan's meat, and temperature discrepancies indicate shipping line errors. He recommended third-party audits to clear Pakistan's name.
Furthermore, the committee members also discussed in detail the Private Members’ Imports and Exports (Control) Amendment Bill, 2023. Deputy Chairman Senator Mirza Muhammad Khan Afridi expressed appreciation for the bill, emphasizing that value addition in exports is beneficial for Pakistan's prosperity. He acknowledged that while it is a time-consuming process, it yields long-term benefits. Additionally, he assured support for the ministry in this regard. The committee chairperson also suggested that the ministry take steps to regulate value-addition.
The committee members also discussed the implementation status of recommendations on various commodities made by the committee over the last three years. The Chairman of the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) briefed the committee members on the progress of different commodities. He mentioned that TCP is in the reconciliation process, and while the Sindh government has already responded, the other provincial governments are still in the process of responding. Chairperson Senator Zeeshan Khanzada inquired about the progress of imports and suggested maintaining regulation of new items.
In attendance were Senator Danesh Kumar, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Palwasha Muhammad Zai Khan, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi (Dy. Chairman), Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir, the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Chairman of Trading Cooperation of Pakistan (TCP), and the senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce.