Union of Small and Medium Enterprises demands immediate closure of Quality Review Committee

Karachi, June 29, 2015 (PPI-OT):The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of the ministry of commerce (MINCOM) to the difficulties being faced by the SME rice exporters due to the one week delay in the closure of the Quality Review Committee (QRC) and urged the federal commerce minister engineer Khurram Dastagir to keep his promise of disbanding the futile committee and to close it immediately as every single day matters for closure of this troublesome body.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said it was finally decided by the MINCOM to close the QRC as it was unanimously agreed that QRC has become futile and the committee as pointed out by all stakeholders is not serving any purpose. The buyers prefer to import rice in their own or selected brands of blended rice.

In fact it is an impediment as the majority of rice being exported is non basmati. The QRC was entrusted to protect the basmati label and make sure the basmati rice exported was not mixed with contrast varieties. The global demand is for 1121 which is non basmati rice and 386 rice which is also not basmati rice.

Many buyers demand blended rice of different varieties with basmati rice as basmati rice has aroma and when mixed with 1121 and 386 makes it aromatic. It is pertinent to note that 1121 is the most expensive rice. It is in great demand all over the gulf and Middle East countries but is not classified as basmati rice. The demand for basmati rice is very little as compared to 1121 and 386.

QRC is not required anymore and its presence as an inspection cell is more an hurdle than a monitor because it is issuing certificates for non basmati rice as basmati rice under pressure to keep business going. The big rice exporters are obliged but the SMES are facing difficulties.

Besides the concept of inspection is for third party inspection and always the prerogative of the buyer. In the last several meetings it was decided to disband the QRC and the government had indicated it’s closure by 30th June 2015 positively which is also the end of the fiscal year.

Unfortunately no intimation has been received till close of business today and a meeting has been summoned on 6th July 2015 to work out the final modalities and examination of the audit report. The requirements of returning the properties purchased by the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) to the government is perhaps bothering REAP and it is presumed that are influencing it’s delay. It was also suggested to use the premises for the Pakistan Rice Board (PRB) which would be another mistake as the PRB would be another white elephant.

For more information, contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35884225-6
Fax: +92-21-35380642
Cell: +92-300-8245307, +92-321-8245307
Email: unisame@gmail.com