Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
A legislative body of Upper House of parliament on Monday demanded of the government to provide storage facilities at Gwadar for fisheries so that the poor fishermen were not forced to sell their products to big international trawlers.
The issue was raised by Senator Danesh Kumar during Senate Standing Committee on Commerce which was held on Monday at parliament house while Senator Zeeshan Khanzada as on chair.
Danesh Kumar informed the committee regarding the illegal smuggling of fisheries within Balochistan. He said that Pakistani fishermen are forced to sell their products to big international trawlers due to lack of necessary storage and technology. If all these facilities are provided in Gwadar and adjacent areas, then the trade can be improved through legal means. The chairman of the committee directed that the information on this issue should be obtained from the provincial governments and institutions and submitted to the committee so that a policy can be formulated in this regard. Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi said that the ban on the import of livestock from Afghanistan should be lifted.
The chairman committee directed that the damage caused to the food sector due to floods should be assessed and the food shortage should be estimated in the next year so that timely action can be taken to import necessary items, specially cotton, which can affect the future of Pakistan’s important textile industry.
A comprehensive briefing was given to the Committee on the composition, functioning and performance of the Sectoral Councils as well as the details of the members of the Sectoral Councils by the officials of the concerned Ministry. The committee was informed that the sectoral councils consist of representatives of the private sector, government sector and trade associations and efforts have been made to make all relevant manufacturers and stakeholders part of the councils.
Officials further said that the purpose of forming the councils is to establish an atmosphere of trust between the government and the industry regarding policies so that business conditions in the country can be improved. Ten sectoral councils have been established so far and three more are in progress. All the councils will play an advisory role as well as suggest new initiatives for the betterment of the industry. The chairman committee said that a sector-specific strategy should be adopted in consultation with the private sector while ensuring the representation of all provinces in these councils.
Senator Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tareen said that the banks should be directed to provide loans to the business community of the smaller provinces. The matter should be taken up with the State Bank and the Ministry of Finance.p