Pakistan. Ministry earns NA body's ire for steep fall in rice exports to Iran

01.11.2016

The Ministry of Commerce on Monday earned the ire of a parliamentary panel over decline of rice export to Iran during last five years, saying the ministry failed to handle the issue properly as the export came down to, $3.479 million in 2015 from $124.768 million in 2010.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Government Assurances, which met here with Muhammad Afzal Khokhar in the chair, discussed a heavy agenda relating to various issues of Capital Development Authority (CDA), Ministry of Commerce, Interior Ministry, and others.

The committee directed the Ministry of Commerce to come up with solid suggestions to solve the issue with Ministry of Finance to develop banking linkages with Iran forthwith so that the exporters could be facilitated properly.

The Ministry informed the Committee that the government would give incentives to the exporters to establish warehouses both in Saudia and Iran.

The Committee expressed concern over the poor performance of Commerce Ministry officials, saying that they failed to handle the issue properly which led the export to fall to $3.479 million in 2015.

The Committee was informed that Pakistan and Iran would establish trade cities on border areas.

The Committee also regretted that despite lapse of 31 years, Capital Development Authority (CDA) failed to handover plots to its allottees, adding neither plots, payment nor or compensations have been given to land owners and affectees of E-12.

However, the Committee appreciated the efforts made by the elected Mayor of Islamabad Sheikh Ansar Aziz, who is also Chairman CDA, and hoped that he would solve the issue of development of Sector E-12.

The Committee directed the Chairman CDA Ansar to submit a road map with clear cut targets and planning to address the issue.

The Committee directed Chairman CDA to develop the road between Sector F-11 and F-12. The CDA Chairman informed the Committee that tender to repair the road had already been started and repair of the road would be completed shortly.

The Committee considered the issue of registration of Afghanis. The Committee directed Secretary Interior to attend the next meeting and explain as to why Ministry of Interior has failed to register the unregistered Afghanis.

Moreover, the Committee showed grave concern over issue of no registration of around 50 million citizens. The NADRA authorities explained that during last 15 years, the authority has issued about 107 million CNICs and more than 35 million children have also been registered; however, rest of the public is yet to be registered.

Nadra informed the Committee that a special campaign has been launched to register the unregistered ladies.

The Committee directed Nadra not to create problems for genuine Pakistanis. The Committee appreciated National re-verification program ordered by Minister of Interior under which more than 100,000 fake CNICs have been identified and are being cancelled.

The DG Passports while briefing the Committee said that 18 employees had been dismissed as they were helping the mafias. The DG passport informed that in all districts of Pakistan new passport offices are being established. Recently 55 new offices have been established and 20 more offices would be established by February 2017.

It was informed that in future the government is going to launch online application system for renewal of passports where the money could be deposited through credit card and by this way renewal of passport would become very easy.

The Committee directed that some other alternate modes of payment should also be made available because every citizen, especially the villagers, does not have credit card facility.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Malik Ibrar Ahmed, Rjab Ali Khan Baloch, Abdul Majeed Khan Khanan Khail, Nighat Parveen Mir, Sher Akber Khan, and Sheikh Salahuddin and senior government officials including Secretaries.

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