The monitoring mechanism of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) is being improved through surprise visits, enhanced market surveillance and regular quarterly inspection of plants.
The Authority has been satisfactorily performing its functions, however, in order to make it more effective, some initiatives have been undertaken which also included a Mobile Testing Laboratory, functional at Karachi while similar laboratories have also been planned to be introduced in all major cities of the country.
Sources at Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) while highlighting the steps on Sunday said Foreign Manufacturer License Scheme (FML) has also been proposed to benefit importers by reducing clearing time at point of import. The proposal is under active consideration.
The sources said other steps included signing of MoUs with counterpart International Organizations for enhanced credibility and mutual recognition, with a view to facilitate exporters was also part of the measures, up-gradation, in terms of equipment and qualified manpower, of PSQCA Testing Laboratories and increasing number of Accredited Tests, process of hiring of merit based qualified manpower against vacant posts which is in hand.
The sources said amendments in PSQCA Act are being proposed to ensure improved governance. The proposed amendments, interalia, include re-constitution of BoD reconstitution of advisory council/ Executive Committee, Enhancement of Penalties etc. and added re-structuring of PSQCA has also been proposed in National Quality Policy (NQP), to meet the best international practices.
The sources said presently, 103 items are included in mandatory scheme of PSQCA, out of which 37 are food items.
The Bottled Drinking Water, Natural Mineral Water, Banaspati (Ghee) and Oil also fall under list of mandatory items of PSQCA.—APP