ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology convened a pivotal session at the Parliament House, delving into a range of issues vital to Pakistan’s scientific and technological landscape. At the forefront of the discussions were concerns related to the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and its recruitment process.
A significant portion of the session was dedicated to addressing a public petition submitted by Mr. Waleed bin Mushtaq, which brought to light glaring irregularities in the recruitment process conducted by the PSQCA. Mr. Waleed’s testimony revealed a troubling narrative: candidates were left uninformed about critical details, such as the date and time of written tests. Furthermore, some candidates who had qualified for interviews received interview letters after the interviews had already taken place a day earlier. To compound matters, Mr. Waleed alleged disrespectful treatment by the PSQCA administration when he sought clarification regarding the entire recruitment process.
Chairman Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen expressed deep concern over this situation, acknowledging that he had received numerous complaints of a similar nature. In response to these concerns, the secretary of the ministry assured the committee that the entire recruitment process had been annulled, and a thorough inquiry was underway. The report of this investigation will be shared with the committee within one month, promising a step towards rectifying the systemic issues within the PSQCA’s recruitment process.
As the committee turned its attention to legislative matters, they achieved a notable milestone with the passage of the “The Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023.” This crucial piece of legislation, championed by Senator Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur, aims to enhance parliamentary oversight over the Auditor General of Pakistan’s (AGP) reports on the PSQCA. Under the amended bill, it is now mandatory for the AGP to present the financial audit of PSQCA in both Houses of Parliament. This development signifies a significant step forward in ensuring greater transparency and accountability in the management of standards and quality control in the country.
In addition to this, another important legislative piece discussed was “The Pakistan Halal Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023,” also introduced by Senator Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur. Officials confirmed that the proposed amendments had already been incorporated into the Rules and Regulations of the Pakistan Halal Authority, aligning the nation’s certification of products with international standards. However, Senator Taimur requested the committee be provided with the detailed rules and regulations of the Pakistan Halal Authority, leading to the deferral of further deliberations on the bill until the next meeting.
These developments underscore the Senate Committee’s commitment to enhancing governance and transparency within the country’s scientific and technological sector. The issues related to PSQCA recruitment and the passage of these critical bills reflect their dedication to addressing crucial concerns and advancing Pakistan’s technological landscape.