LAHORE : Only the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) will have the powers to set standards for all food and beverages, while all provinces will be bound to adopt them.
According to the PSQCA sources said here Wednesday that this was decided in the 44th meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI), adding that PSQCA has also started checking the certification and labeling of food items following this decision.
Several major companies have submitted applications to the PCQCA for certification and a comprehensive policy is also likely to be formulated in this regard, they added. The PSQCA would also have the authority to certify food items (certification mark logo and labeling) to reduce the burden of multiple or double certifications, while the provinces would ensure compliance of standards in the markets.
On the other hand, provincial governments would register businesses for selling food items and issue licences for setting up factories.
In this regard, the Ministry of Science and Technology has also issued a formal notification to ensure implementation of the decision. After which the PSQCA officers also issued instructions to the regional directorates and liaison offices for certification of all food items under the conformity assessment scheme. While a number of major companies have also submitted applications for certification.
Meanwhile, the PSQCA officials confirmed that applications are being received on a daily basis, while a Quality Assurance Cell has been set up in the Lahore office for the convenience of the businessmen.
He further said that it was the best initiative of the Federal government to protect the rights of consumers and special attention would be paid to alleviate the uncertainty among consumers regarding labeling