All Pakistan Meat Processors and Exporters Association Chairman Nasib Ahmad Saifi has urged the government to stop smuggling of livestock to enable the meat processing and exporting sector fully exploit the opportunities exist in the multi billion dollars international halal market.
He told Business Recorder that the government should ban the export of live animals and check smuggling with an iron hand and that this would help the formal sector to grow and add to the national exchequer through increased revenue. He was of the view that smuggling and exports of live animals is a main cause for higher prices of animals too.
He also urged the government to exempt the meat sector from loadshedding of electricity and gas so as its exports can be enhanced and earn valuable precious foreign exchange for the country. He also urged the government to extend financial help to this sector so as it could set up a bio-gas plant for generating electricity for its own usage.
He claimed that exports and processors of halal meat do not believe in doing business with the involvement of interest. “Nevertheless, they always want loan for meeting their working capital needs, expansion or otherwise.” He told the government to extend interest-free loans to meat exporters for a 20-year term.
He welcomed that the Punjab had banned the slaughtering of female animals. However, he stressed the need for ensuring implementation on this ban in letter and spirit. He said that in Lahore, this ban could be implemented and abattoirs in private sector would also follow the directives of the government but what about the female slaughtering being done in rural areas and suburbs of the urban areas. Our production of Livestock is rapidly decreasing because of slaughtering of female animals which must be strictly stopped.
He said the government should assign commercial officers posted abroad to contribute to halal food exports from Pakistan by introducing our local manufacturers and processors to new Halal Food Markets specially Turkey, Central Asia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt. He also urged the government to help the meat exporters to participate in foreign exhibitions which is another effective way to introduce the products to new customers and make inroads in new markets.
“Air Line spaces are very difficult to capture for Meat Exporters. Necessary steps must be taken to provide them special favour in space bookings and freight reductions. Parking facility must be provided at Air Ports and in case of delay in flight AC units of vehicles should be switched on,” he said. “For the best quality and fast production, the government must arrange training programs for slaughterhouse workers, give financial support without interest for purchase and installation of latest machinery, upgrade slaughter house laboratories up to the international level so that the samples which we give to the other laboratories must be tested in our own premises.”