Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Aftab Ahmed Sheikh, informed the Senate that Punjab Government has formally established an Authority to check quality of routine edible items and help control adulteration.
Responding to various supplementary questions during Question Hour on behalf of the minister for Science and Technology, he said that it was responsibility of the provincial government to check adulteration in food items including milk, ghee, meat in their respective provinces.
He said the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), an organization under the administrative control of Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), is mandated to formulate Standards and monitor the quality of products falling under the Compulsory Certification Mark Scheme.
Presently, 109 items were included in the mandatory Scheme of PSQCA and the Authority has a complete mechanism for monitoring the quality of the essential items/products through quarterly inspections of the manufacturing units and market surveillance policy (inspection, testing and certification) for ensuring compliance of mandatory items in accordance with Pakistan Standards and Conformity Assessment (CA) Rules, 2011.
He said that PSQCA was not authorized to penalize the manufacturers/units for non-compliance. However, PSQCA, as per CA rules, could seize the units which did not conform to the standards.
Aftab Ahmed Sheikh said that PSQCA also referred cases of manufacturers/units to first class magistrate for penalization. He said that during the 2016 and 17 (July 2016 to September 2017), PSQCA carried out inspection of various units as well as open market surveillance. As a result of this, 299 units of different items were seized.