Though the country’s powerful sugar millers are still reluctant to go into certification process of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has found a way out to approve standard of procured sugar from the local millers.
As Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) having its member from both ruling and opposition parties have been denying to certify their mills by PSQCA, the country’s only organisation to approve quality and standard of various food items, the latter has also been reluctant to approve quality of locally produced sugar. However, the sugar procured by TCP recently is being approved by PSQCA despite its row with PSMA, which has already gone to court against the certification process.
Though approval of sugar quality in existing tussle between the association and PSQCA was not easy but, interestingly, TCP has let it approved through a technical solution. Chairman TCP, Tahir Raza Naqvi, while talking to Business Recorder, claimed that in order to approve procured sugar from local millers as per direction of Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC), TCP has convinced PSQCA that the sample of sugar provided for test of quality/standard was being forwarded by the Corporation not PSMA.
As TCP, as a party, has forwarded sugar samples for laboratory test, PSQCA was bond to check quality of the food item and make related reports. Thus TCP is getting at least 20,000 tons of procured sugar approved by the authority through making a short time solution to the examination process of locally procured sugar.
Through the technical arrangement, the sugars of uncertified local mills are now being approved indirectly. Earlier, PSQCA had denied approving quality of sugar to be procured by TCP from local mills as mills of PSMA were not certified by the authority. Being one of the compulsory items required to be certified from PSQCA through an act of Parliament, the approval of the kitchen item before procurement had become a challenge for the concerned authorities.
Previously, PSQCA in a letter sent to TCP, had made it clear that no organisation/body can produce the listed item without getting license from the authority. Both the products (refined and white sugar) and bags were needed to be approved by PSRCA.
On the other hand, TCP in its Gallop Tender Notices for purchase of sugar also makes it mandatory that white sugar, packed in polypropylene woven sacks, should be as per detailed specification/requirements and PSQCA approved standards as mentioned in the tender documents.
However, Ghulam Omar Kazi, Secretary PSQCA, claimed that certification and laboratory test were two separate departments at PSQCA. TCP was randomly forwarding samples of sugar for laboratory test/report and the concerned departing was issuing reports as per results of samples. The matter of certification of local mills was in court where renowned lawyer Hafeez Pirzada was representing PSMA. The quality issue was surfaced since ECC has directed TCP to procure different limited quantities of sugar from local mills during the last around 10 months.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012
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