LAHORE: The Lahore chamber of Commerce & Industry Friday called for immediate withdrawal of sharp increase in quarantine rates.
In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that despite the fact that Indian quarantine is free of charges, the authorities in Pakistan had made and exorbitant increase in quarantine charges. He said that livestock exports that were started in 2013 after a gap of nine years would suffer a deadly blow because of the SRO issued on March 31, 2015.
There is a need to exploit potential of our livestock sector and use it as engine for economic growth and food security for the country leading to rural population empowerment and socioeconomic development / uplift. As far as livestock exports are concerned, a total of 8,995 buffaloes / cattle and 4,880 sheep/goats were exported for meat purpose during July 2013 to September 30, 2013. Apart from animal exports, 58,730 metric tonnes of meat and meat preparations were exported during 2013-14 which fetched US$ 177.5 million. This meat was exported from 29 private sector slaughterhouses registered with the Animal Quarantine Department. During same period, export facilitation was also provided for livestock by- products like animal casing, bones, horns and hooves, gelatine that fetched US$ 50.0 million.
Similarly, poultry sector is one of the important and vibrant segments of agriculture in Pakistan. This sector has contributed 1.3 percent in GDP during 2013-14 while its contribution in agriculture and livestock value addition remained at 6.1% and 10.8 % respectively. Poultry meat contributes 28.0% of the total meat production in the country. The current investment in Poultry Industry is more than Rs. 200.00 billion. Poultry sector is one of the largest agro based segments of Pakistan having an investment of Rs.700 Billion. It is worth mentioning here that despite all constraining factors the growth rate of this sector is 10% to 12% per annum. During 2013-14, the Animal Quarantine Department (AQD) provided quarantine services and issued 32,833 Health Certificates for the export of live animals, mutton, beef, eggs and other livestock products having value of more than US$ 230.0 million.
Keeping the abovementioned details in mind it would be very harsh to raise the rates of animal quarantine e.g. Animal (dairy) from Rs.100/animal to Rs.3,000/animal, Animal (meat purpose) from Rs.500/animal to Rs.2,000/animal, Meat (Mutton- chilled) from Rs.40/carcase to Rs.50/carcase, Meat (Beef- chilled) from Rs.60/quarter to Rs.150/quarter, Meat (Mutton/Beef- frozen) from Rs.250/upto 100 cartons to Rs.250/upto 25 cartons, Poultry Meat from Rs.250/upto 100 cartons to Rs.100/carton (of 18-20 kgs), Poultry Eggs (GP) from Rs.250 upto 200 cartons to Rs.250/cartons, Poultry Eggs (table) from Rs.250 upto 200 cartons to Rs.250/cartons, Day old chicks from Rs.15/upto 100 chicks to Rs.200/upto 100 chicks, etc.