Islamabad—Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussein Monday said that the development and upgradation of National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) institutions were important for promoting harmonization of standards at international and regional level. Addressing the inaugurative session of a three day UNIDO-ECO Expert Group Meeting here, he said Ministry of Science and Technology has formulated a National Quality Policy.
The first step towards establishing an internationally recognized NQI is to ensure good governance and create institutions that are free from conflicts of interest. He hoped such meetings would lead to a positive exchange of views and a better understanding on the concept of quality infrastructure in the ECO region.
He said region would benefit comprehensively through this commonly validated Regional Quality Policy, help enhance the regional trade by framing of Technical regulations supporting each other yet keeping the WTO regime’s requirements intact. The relevant institutions need to be established or restructured on the principles of transparency,consensus, impartiality, and technical credibility.
Establishment and up gradation of quality infrastructure takes years of efforts and requires a significant financial investment and commitment before getting any international recognition. In many countries same institution is responsible for developing standard, carrying out certifications, inspections and accreditation activities.
“We have a strong infrastructure including an accreditation body with the name of Pakistan National Accreditation Council, Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority as standards body and metrology institute named as National Physical and Standards Laboratory, all having international recognition and traceability.” The latter is in process of being further graded and transformed into the Metrology Institute of Pakistan. Federal Cabinet in its very recent meeting has accorded approval for signing the RISCAM Statute by the Government of Pakistan. Ratification will follow that.
Similarly, the Cabinet has also conveyed its approval for establishment of RISCAMs TMB on Metrology at National Physical and Standards Laboratories at Islamabad. Another recent development is the creation of the Pakistan Halal Authority. This Authority would be mandated to interface with international bodies working in this field and be the bearer of Halal logo on behalf of the Govt of Pakistan.
Therefore forums like this, which provide an opportunity for the exchange of ideas between regional countries are a useful medium. It may be added here that PNAC has already granted accreditation to four halal certification bodies so far and others are in the queue. These countries could utilize the services available in neighboring countries with whom collaborations can be established such as in ECO region. Pakistan would be more than happy to provide technical assistance to any country in the ECO region to support their Quality Infrastructure, he said.