“MoI&P has made it clear to the PVMA that the government will take stern action against those engaged in this activity and not allow edible oil/ ghee manufacturers to play with the health of the people,” the sources added.
An official document maintains, “The production of chicken oil is being misused by ghee manufacturers and needs to be stopped”.
No office-bearer of the PVMA could be reached for comments on these serious accusations levelled by the federal government.
The Association has previously faced charges of mixing health hazard RBD palm stearin in their product which is used in soap manufacturing. At the time, the government had announced that it would take action against those involved but the outcome of that campaign was not shared with the media.
An expert in poultry affairs told this scribe that those operating in the unorganised sector gather remains of chickens, extract oil and sell it to the Ghee industry and confectioners (Halvais).There is no formal industry for the extraction of oil from chicken remains, he added,
“I do not how they extract the oil. I guess they boil the remains and get oil. Chances of contamination are high,” he continued.
The meeting also discussed ways and means to formulate a strategy to ensure that the concessions granted for import of palm oil through Indonesia Pakistan – PTA benefit the end user ie the consumer.
The PVMA appreciated the signing and implementation of PTA with Indonesia and praised the government for lowering the tariff/import duty.
The import of used palm oil under the cover of palm acid oil needs to be checked by restricting the import item to bulk supply instead of import of Palm acid oil in small drums. The imposition of this check will facilitate avoidance of tariff manipulation by importers and ensure quality supply of palm oil in the county.
The meeting agreed that export of ghee/oil from Pakistan need to be further liberalised to boost exports. The MoI&P is expected to convene an inter- ministerial meeting to settle this issue.
The Federal Government reduced the custom duty on palm oil imported from Indonesia by 15 percent with effect from 1 September 2013.