Task force to ensure import of Palm oil: Ministry of Commerce

Keeping in view the short supply of palm oil from Indonesia and expected shortage of edible oil in the country, a task force constituted by Ministry of Commerce has started analyzing options for avoiding shortage of the largely consumed commodity.
According to officials, a meeting of the recently constituted task force on supply of palm oil was held on Saturday.
While chairing the meeting Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Commerce, informed that the Prime Minister of Pakistan had constituted the task force to ensure there are no disruptions to the supply of palm oil in local market.
He further informed that the supply of palm oil from Indonesia had been temporarily halted owing to their domestic issues. However, he was reassured by his Indonesian counterpart that the supply will be resumed by third week of May.
During the meeting, as official statement issued by the ministry, informed the participants that the matter is being taken up at the highest level and Ministry of Industries and Production and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are also on board to resolve the issue. Diplomatic and commercial channels are being used to reverse the unilateral decision of the Indonesian side.
Senior Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association informed the Federal Minister for Commerce that at the current stock levels, the market demand could be met for another two months. He further informed that more oil will be imported from Malaysia and other options will also be explored, and hoarding and smuggling of edible oil will not be allowed among members.
Federal Minister for Commerce invited the participants to work together to avert a hike in price of edible oil and reassured that the government is working towards finding a short as well as a long-term solution to the problem posed by dependency on Indonesian palm oil imports.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Ministry of Industries and Production, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Investment Officers posted in Indonesia and Malaysia as well as leading business persons.
Earlier, the Federal Minister for Commerce was also briefed regarding the activities and working of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP). He was informed that TDAP, as a premier trade promotion organization, has twofold tasks of trade promotion and trade facilitation.
He was informed that trade promotion activities of TDAP include local exhibitions, participation in international exhibitions, delegations, and promotion of Pakistan’s goods and services abroad through various other media, including digital and online tools and product promotion campaigns.
He was further informed that TDAP carries out various activities under the ambit of trade facilitation which include GI registration of indigenous products, GSP and REX registration of exporters, training of new exporters and management of expo centre at Karachi and Hyderabad. The Minister appreciated the efforts of TDAP in promotion of Pakistan’s goods and services around the world.
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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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