Sindh government urged to set up consumer courts

KARACHI: Speakers at a conference urged the Sindh government for the establishment of Sindh Food Authority (SFA) as well as consumer courts to ensure consumers’ rights with immediate effect.

The demand came at the 10th Food Safety and Quality Conference 2017 which was organised by Consumer Association of Pakistan (CAP) in collaboration with PSQCA and Malaysian Palm Oil Board Webmail System (MPOB) here at a local hotel.

CAP Chairman Kaukab Iqbal in his welcome address said that food safety has become a crucial issue for the consumers in the contemporary business scenario with growing competition among business rivals. It’s high time to kick off combined efforts to ensure quality foodstuff to the consumers at every level.

Kaukab said the Consumer Protection Act has been unanimously passed by the Sindh Assembly three years back enabling consumers a platform where they would be able to get respect as well as entertained for redressal of their grievances.

He also underscored the need for implementation of the very act across the country with a true spirit.

He deplored that Sindh Government ignored the core issue to set up consumer courts and provincial food authority despite several requests and recommendations by his organisation. Comparing, he said, the Punjab has already established the food authority which has been taking stern actions against counterfeit products.

The chief guest, Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister on Information Science and Technology, Dr Sikandar Ali Shoro, said the provincial food authority has already been approved by the cabinet in March. However, he added that rules and regulations are being formulated in this regard. He vowed to take up the demands raised in the conference with CM Syed Murad Ali Shah.

“Consumer sensitisation is pivotal to create a quality culture in the country,” he said asking the stakeholders to make collective efforts, besides sharing valued recommendations with the provincial government for the protection of consumer rights.

Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) Director General Khalid Siddiqui termed conference a step in the right direction to aware people about the importance of standardisation. PSQCA being the sole national standard body is fully aware of the substandard counterfeit products. “I assure you that PSQCA will not let counterfeiters free or unchecked in Pakistan.”

He said that PSQCA has decided to impose a ban on the sale of open oil and ghee in the county as advertisements in this connection are being published in newspapers. Production of ghee and oil should be ensured as per set standards of the PSQCA. Violators would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

As per rough estimates, some 400 tonnes of substandard open oil and ghee is being sold in Karachi on a daily basis, putting the citizens’ lives at high risk.

Highlighting the significance of standardisation, Khalid said standards are becoming a pillar of the new global trade system. Today’s increasingly globalised trading environment, international standards are powerful tools to lead positive change for spurring economic growth, adapt to climate change and open up global markets.

Japanese Consul General in Karachi Toshikazu Isomura, Commandant Pakistan Marine Academy Commodore Akbar Naqi, CAP Punjab chapter Chairman Arif Ansari, CAP Sindh region Chairman Farhan, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, Rasheed Jan Muhammad a representative of Dalda, and others also spoke on this occasion.

The sponsor of the 10th Consumer Food Safety & Quality Conference 2017 are Hamdard Laboratories Pakistan Waqf as Lead Partner, Dalda Foods Cause Partner, Naheed Super Market, KFC & Shangrila Partners In Progress , Malaysian Palm Oil Consul, Pizza Hut, Continental Bakers, Habib Oil Mills , Nestle Pakistan, Dilpasand Sweet, Minyak Cooking Oil, United King Bakers, English Biscuits, A&S Oil as Supportive partners whereas National Alliance for safe Food, All Pakistan Restaurants Association, Karachi Association of Sweet & Nimco, Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education, American Society For Microbiology, Biological Safety Association of Pakistan, COTHM Strategic Partner, TCS Logistic Partner, Event Icon will be the creative partners.

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