Parliament Unanimously Passes National Metrological Institute Bill

The National Metrological Institute Bill 2022 was passed unanimously in a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology on Wednesday at the Parliament House.

Senator Afnan Ullah Khan chaired the meeting. The meeting was attended by Senator Fawzia Arshad, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Muhammad Humayun Mohmand, and senior officers of the Ministry of Science and Technology, National Physical and Standards Laboratory, along with relevant officials.

Minister for Science and Technology, Senator Syed Shibli Faraz, was also present in the session.

Reviewing the contents of the bill, the committee pointed out certain typographical errors. Other than that, there was consensus in principle that this bill was overdue, and it was a pity that it has been pending for a quarter-century.

The committee was briefed that the National Physical and Standards Laboratory (NPSL) was established roughly four decades ago under the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), through a project as a national apex body for the maintenance of primary and secondary standards of measurement and testing and calibration of standards and equipment.

NPSL deals with the establishment of the infrastructure of metrology to implement and operate a unified and coherent national measurement system as per international requirements and practices for quality assurance and management systems and to support legal metrology in Pakistan.  The organization also caters to a limited number of fields of metrology, i.e., the science of measurements which includes mass, length, time and frequency, electrical, thermal, and pressure measurements.  Currently, the organization has approximately 500 clients and has introduced the Bill to provide it legal cover, which is a prerequisite of international trading partners of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Prime Minister approved the proposal for the placement of NPSL under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) as an autonomous body in 1997 and since then has been awaiting realization.