The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce was informed that the export of milk has drastically decreased in the last two years.
The parliamentary panel met on Wednesday with Senator Zeeshan Khanzada in Chair. The Senate Committee deliberated on the export policy of milk and other edible food items.
Muhammad Sualeh Ahmed Faruqui, Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce, apprised the Committee that Pakistan is the 4th largest milk-producing country in the world, and as per the Economic survey 2021-22, Pakistan produces 65,745 million tons of milk and its consumption stands at 52,996 million tons.
However, the export of milk has drastically decreased in the last two years, he added. Senator Zeeshan Khanzada remarked that prices of milk are increasing rapidly and yet the government is allowing its export. The Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce stated that Government cannot put a cap on the export of milk due to price fluctuation.
Moreover, the Senate body was briefed on the strategy devised by the government for the development of the meat sector. Deputy Chairman Senate Mirza Muhammad Afridi opined that every day around 150,000 cows and lambs are slaughtered in the country and the government should initiate the import of meat from Afghanistan in order to minimize meat prices and fulfill the export demand of the country.
Muhammad Sualeh Ahmed Faruqui replied the government is hesitant to import because of the imminent threat of cow viral disease in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla stated that Pakistan’s petroleum imports stand at Rs. 12 billion. He added that in the current economic scenario, there is a dire need to devise energy-efficient policies in order to reduce the country’s import bill. Chairman Committee proposed that a special committee comprising of members of the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production, Finance and Revenue and Commerce should be constituted to take up the matter.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Chairman Senate Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, Senator Danesh Kumar, Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir, Secretary for Ministry of Commerce Muhammad Sualeh Ahmed Faruqui and other senior officers of relevant departments were also in attendance.
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