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ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has reportedly widened its probe against the officials of Department of Plant Protection (DPP), an organisation of Ministry of National Food Security and Research, after Russia lifts its ban on Pakistani rice.

The organisation is responsible for issuing phytosanitary certificates for exported or imported commodities including fumigation of fruits and vegetables from Iran and Afghanistan.

Russia had imposed a ban on Pakistani rice after finding insects – a ban which was lifted a few weeks ago.

Official documents revealed that FIA has sought complete procedure regarding registration of companies for import of Methyl Bromide 98% + Chloropicrin 2% along with the copies of relevant rules/regulations.

In a letter to Director General, DPP, FIA has also sought copies of documents regarding registration of M/s AG Services & Supplies and M/s National Chemical along with the approval of Agriculture Pesticides Technical Advisory Committee (APTAC) constituted by the federal government.

Director General DPP has also been asked to provide copies of rules which were later on upgraded, through which the DPP was bound to grant registration of Methyl Bromide 98% + Methyl Bromide 100% on Form-16 and grant of registration of Methyl Bromide 98% + Chloropicrin 2% on Form-1, in addition to copies of documents regarding registration of Methyl Bromide 98 % + Methyl Bromide 100% on Form-16 and grant of registration of Methyl Bromide 98% + Chloropicrin 2% on Form-1 along with the notifications by the Federal Government in respect of (i) M/s Pentagon Fumigation Services (ii) M/s Pest Management Services (iii) M/S Al-Asif Enterprises, and (iv) M/s Four Brothers Lahore. The copies of rules under which such registrations were allowed are also to be provided.

The DPP which is being headed by a acting DG since long, has also come under observation of the investigation agency, which has sought details of chain of command in respect of officers / officials posted in Registration Section of DPP, along with the detail of names & CNIC numbers, designations & BPS, period of posting, present status of service, present place of posting, residential address, cell number, etc, in respect of officials posted in Registration Section of DPP since 1992 till date.

FIA has also enquired whether there is any role of one Faraz in dealing with the registration of 4-companies and sought complete details/documents.

Other documents which have been sought are as follows: (i) complete detail of import of pesticide chemicals during the period from 2000 to 2019; (ii) complete detail of officers / officials posted in Quarantine Wing along with their names, CNIC numbers, designations and BPS period of posting, present status of service present place of posting, residential address, cell number, etc. Separate details of their qualifications, requirements of their technical education, if any, etc. are also to be provided; (iii) complete procedure of treatment, issuance of official certificates, etc by the Quarantine Wing along with the rules / regulations; (iv) complete details & copies of official certificates issued by the Quarantine Wing during the period from 2015 to 2020; (v) year-wise break-up of quantum of import of pesticides for the last 10 years along with the average cost of production. In case of abnormal increase / enhancement of expenditures incurred on import of pesticides resulting in increase of cost of production, the reasons may also be provided; (vi) detail of side effects, if any, on an increased use of pesticides; (vii) background / reasons of imposing restrictions on such invasive pests and diseases by importing countries; (viii) complete detail of treatment and issuance of phytosanitary certificates in respect of wheat imported from Australia during the year 2020 along with the detail of individuals who issued the phytosanitary certificates including complete details of fumigators along with their names, addresses, contact number etc detail/mode of payment, etc.

Director General DPP has been asked that in order to avoid any inconvenience and to ensure smooth finalisation of enquiry, a focal person may be nominated to coordinate with FIA and communicate his name, designation and contact number at the earliest convenience.

Meanwhile, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has also launched an inquiry against officials of DPP, Karachi, Allah Ditta Abid, Sohail Shehzad, and Imtiaz Hussain.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021



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