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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Senator Shibli Faraz Wednesday informed a parliamentary panel that the industrial and medicine hemp (bhang) policy will be ready by December.

“The government is all set to launch a ‘Tech Tsunami’ in the country, as there is no future without moving forward in science and technology,” said the minister, while briefing the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, which met under the chairmanship of Sajid Mehdi in Committee Room of Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology, Islamabad.

Faraz and ministry officials gave a detailed briefing to the committee on energy conservation in household electrical appliances.

The electric appliances used in the country are not up to standard, the committee was informed. A study has been done on the fans and motors used in the country. Around 100 million fans are being used in the country.

Around 40-60 percent electricity can be saved by changing the material of fans and motors. The committee was further informed that around 3,400 MW of electricity can be saved daily with upgrading the standard for fans and motors. Around $3.4 billion is required to generate so much electricity. In winter, the demand reaches 8000 MW. 16000 MW of electricity is used only for cooling, the committee was informed.

Faraz and Member PCSIR Dr Naseem Rauf briefed the committee about the cultivation and production of industrial and medicinal hemp.

They said that work has been started on a project to use hemp in industry and medicine. Hemp cultivation has been started in Rawat. The price of a hemp seed is eight to 12 dollars. Cannabis seeds will also be produced near Rawat. The global cannabis market will reach $95 billion by 2025. The project will be completed in three years and will cost Rs1896 million. The ANF has approved four sites for cannabis cultivation. The ANF is on board. This is a pilot project. A letter has been written to the prime minister for cannabis policy.

The policy will come in December and Commerce and DRAP are also on board.

Faraz said that the schools for the STEM programme have been selected on merit.

The STEM programs will be extended to 450 schools.

He said that the performance of the STEM schools will also be monitored.

Under the programme, the youth of Pakistan will be given technology training.

It was recommended by the Committee that Women Cadet College, Mardan shall be included in the STEM Programme.

The committee, unanimously, confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting held on 26th August 2021.

The committee discussed the implementation status of previous recommendations and disposed of the same with direction to the ministry to expedite the implementation status. The committee considered the bill, “The National Metrology Institute of Pakistan Bill, 2021” (government bill).

After detail deliberations, the committee recommended that the bill as amended may be passed by the National Assembly. The committee considered the bill, “The National University of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2020” moved by Riaz Fatyana, MNA. As the representative of the Ministry of Law and Justice and the National University of Technology opposed the bill, hence, the Minister for Science and Technology assured the committee that he will discuss with the mover about the merits of the bill. The committee deferred the same due to non-availability of the mover. The committee considered the bill, “The Contractors Registration Bill, 2021” moved by Uzma Riaz, MNA. The committee deferred the same due to non-availability of the mover.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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