Karachi: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the ministry of commerce (Mincom) to expedite the closure of the Quality Review Committee (QRC) before the arrival of the new crop of basmati next month and other superior varieties of rice to enable the SME rice exporters function without hassle and compete with neighbours in exporting their own branded rice.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said the SME rice exporters are looking forward to export basmati and other expensive varieties of 1121 rice in white and parboiled rice in their own brands to their valued customers all over the world. There is urgent need for aggressive marketing of branded rice and it is very important that the SME rice exporters work in this direction and avail the facilities of social media and other marketing tools prescribed by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA). In fact the SME rice exporters are advised to post their brands on SMEDA’s gallery for SMEs and use this platform profitably to promote their brands.
Thaver said the Pakistani 386 rice has over a period of time acquired popularity and is in demand in gulf and middle eastern countries and the overseas buyers ask for it by name. The SME rice exporters have worked hard for creating a market for this variety and expect that no hurdles would be placed in its export and demanded recognition of this variety by the authority on its own merits under the category of fine rice. In India 386 is labelled as basmati rice whereas in Pakistan it is not classified as basmati rice.
He appreciated the final decision of the Mincom to close QRC for good and the appointments of auditors by the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) to carry out audit of QRC funds over a decade as desired by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) under the Mincom and urged the stakeholders to expedite the matter and close the controversial body for good.
It may be noted that QRC was operating without the accreditation license to operate as a pre-shipment inspection company as it never qualified nor was it eligible yet unfortunately the QRC continued causing conflict of interest.
UNISAME lauded the federal minister of commerce engineer Khurram Dastagir for comprehending the futility of QRC and taking appropriate steps to close it.