Union of Small and Medium Enterprises invite attention of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan to the decline in export of basmati rice

Karachi, October 02, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) invited the attention of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to the decline in the export of basmati rice since last three years and expressed serious concern for the indifferent attitude of the authority and lack of support for the troubled sector. TDAP needs to interact with the related institutions and ensure facilities for the basmati rice exporters on priority basis.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said it is indeed very surprising that TDAP has not taken measures to regain lost markets of Pakistani basmati rice. The Pakistani basmati rice which was in great demand in gulf and middle east has lost ground and the basmati rice exporters are out of export business due to the careless attitude of the TDAP.

He urged the SME basmati rice exporters not to lose heart and not be discouraged and now that the new crop is at the threshold to again restart their business especially in parboiled rice and maintain the quality and bench mark.

He advised the SME rice exporters to add value to the grains by polishing them, processing them through the colour sorting machine to ensure uniformity and market the rice under their own brand names in attractive packing. It takes time to build the image of brands but it is worth it because it is very fruitful for the future of the company and in the long run it is a blessing for the owners family who benefits by the popularity.

Thaver said to regain the lost markets it is very important that the TDAP allows the SME basmati rice exporters to prepare their own brands skillfully and direct the Quality Review Committee (QRC) to leave them alone and not create hurdles as the committee lacks commercial sense and evaluation of rice.

Moreover the best rice 1121 is not basmati rice, it is more expensive than basmati rice and more in demand all over the gulf and middle east. Secondly the 386 variety is again not basmati but in great demand so QRC needs to be shut down because it was established to protect basmati rice but now it is a different story and if the TDAP does not check on this, Pakistan will lose the market completely to India which is blending basmati and non basmati rice and doing roaring business and our authorities are obstructing business without realizing the consequences.
It is also very important that the SME rice exporters are financed by the banks under the export refinance scheme and warehouse receipt financing on positive cash flow basis and the commercial banks advised to negotiate their bills drawn on gulf and middle east buyers and also purchase and discount bills for letter of credits established through low rating banks of third world countries.

The commercial banks are unnecessarily declining to negotiate bills drawn under letter of credits (LC) of low rating banks of third world countries when there is no risk involved as the failure of the bank is covered under the international insurance of bank failures.

Thaver welcomed the new managing committee (MC) of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) under the chairmanship of Masood Iqbal one of the very big exporters of basmati rice and its senior vice chairman Chelaram and thanked the outgoing MC members who retired on completion of 3 years.

He said Mehboob Piracha the outgoing member had time and again informed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) regarding the refusal of banks to purchase/ discount bills of third world countries and also urged the SBP to direct the banks to reduce their LC advising and negotiation charges as the banks have increased their charges beyond proportion and this is proving burdensome especially on LCs of small quantities.

The SME basmati rice exporters now expect that the new MC will take up their cause with the TDAP and the SBP vigorously and obtain best facilities for the sector.

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

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