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Punjab inspires Sindh to announce food authority

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Following suit with Punjab and subsequently KPK, Sindh government announced last weekend to establish a provincial food authority that will be responsible to keep a check on the eateries in Sindh, in order to ensure the quality of edibles they provide to the public.

Talking to a local media outlet, Sindh Food Department Secretary Sajjad Hussain said the provincial government has granted Rs. 500 million for the establishment of the food authority. The authority is expected to induct 50 personnel in the first phase that will be tasked to raid various hotels, restaurants, bakeries and other eateries.

The dairy and beverage industry stands with its demand for a solution to this grave issue, especially now that Sindh has joined ranks with Punjab and KP. It demands “harmonized national standards” all across Pakistan.

The team will be comprised of officials from the provincial health department, University of Karachi Food and Science Department’s professor and others. The authority will first select the target areas in February and will start its operations in March.

Read more: Punjab Food Authority on a Mission

Over the years, food authorities in Punjab and KP have carried out a number of raids at different shops, bakeries and hotels recovering huge quantities of substandard edibles. The authorities concerned have suspended the food licenses of many hotels that were found to be using poor quality products in their food.

The PFA sealed and/or fined no less than 73 restaurants and food production units in the year 2017 in Punjab. The Director-General PFA Noor Ul Amin Mengal and Provincial Food Minister Bilal Yasin supervised some of these raids in person and Mr. Yasin had expressed his desire to impose a tighter grip on vendors selling substandard and hazardous food. 

“In Europe, the authorities are harmonizing standards on an international scale for swifter trade, and here we are, gridlocked in inter-provincial discord, making national losses”, he added.

Inspired by the Punjab Food Authority’s fame as a strict regulator, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government had also created a provincial food authority. KP Food Authority has been legislated and Mr. Atta ur Rehman has been appointed its DG. Although its inspectorate is not yet in operation, the Director-General Mr. Atta Ur Rehman is said to be a great admirer of the Noor Ul Ameen Mengal of Punjab, GVS reported earlier.

Read more: Punjab food authority regulates packaged milk after Supreme Court decision

The problems, however, remained of the same magnitude and dimensions. Dairy, synthetic foods and beverages industry were all apprehensive of the fact that this will create issues in harmonizing food standards, which are already in disparity across all provinces.

The team will be comprised of officials from the provincial health department, University of Karachi Food and Science Department’s professor and others.

“He will act along the same lines” A dairy industry executive expressed his fear about the KP Food Authority Director. “If there are different food standards in every province, how will we trade inter-provincially?” This is now the question on the minds of industry executives. “In Europe, the authorities are harmonizing standards on an international scale for swifter trade, and here we are, gridlocked in inter-provincial discord, making national losses”, he added.

The dairy and beverage industry stands with its demand for a solution to this grave issue, especially now that Sindh has joined ranks with Punjab and KP. It demands “harmonized national standards” all across Pakistan.


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