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PFA seals two desi ghee units

By Our Correspondent
January 18, 2019

LAHORE: Punjab Food Authority (PFA) on Thursday launched a province-wide crackdown against desi ghee production units under its annual inspection schedule 2019.

During the drive, the PFA teams have sealed two desi ghee production units and fined five units for violating the PFA rules.

The teams also issued warning notices to 62 units. Out of 77, the Punjab Food Authority teams visited 35 units in Lahore zone, 28 units in Rawalpindi zone and 14 units in South Punjab.

Director General Captain (R) Muhammad Usman said PFA has sealed units for producing substandard Desi Ghee by adding banaspati ghee and artificial flavours in it. He said the PFA teams have collected samples of 12 units and sent for laboratory test for further analysis. He said action would be taken against them in the light of laboratory test report.

The DG said the production of Desi Ghee would be checked thrice a year in order to curb the adulteration in food and to ensure the provision of safe food. He has also appealed citizens to prefer homemade food instead of readymade food products in their daily routine.

Farmers demand incentives

By Our correspondent

LAHORE: Ahead of the mini-budget, farmers have asked the government to give incentives to agriculture sector to increase production of various crops.

The Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI), in its budget proposals for agriculture sector, has stressed for formulation of government policies that can make Pakistani produce internationally competitive and resultantly industry could get consistent raw material from the local sources. There is also need to take steps to revitalise the production technology considering the large number of small farmers. For this purpose, investment in agriculture research assumes paramount importance. Research in agriculture is of crucial importance and that is why it is given topmost priority globally. Our neighbor India is spending 0.4 per cent of its GDP on agriculture research, Brazil is spending 1.75 pc, China spending 0.5 pc of the GDP, whereas, Pakistan is spending only 0.2 pc of its GDP on it. It is direly needed to improve the spending from the meagre amount to 1 pc and then to 2 pc in the next three years. As far as farm mechanisation is concerned, PKI President Khalid Khokhar said sale of tractors had reduced from 70,000 units per year to less than 40,000 units per year which hampered the mechanisation of agriculture in the country either because of lower purchasing power of growers or price hike due to rupee devaluation.

To revive the sale of tractors and encourage farm mechanisation, it is proposed that the GST on tractors be withdrawn immediately. Alternatively, government may cut the interest rate on bank loans extended for the purchase of tractors.

Moreover, the PKI president said proposes to the government commit a minimum price for oilseeds and pulses and take a bold decision on imposing import duty on the two commodities so that growers could have confidence and local industry was bound to buy from the local growers. If these steps are taken, the import bill of pulses and oilseed will vanish next year.

For lowering input cost, PKI leader said Pakistani growers were experiencing world’s highest input cost.