PESHAWAR: Prominent businessman and Chairman Frontier Custom Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association, Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi has hailed the recent decision taken by Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), Dr Asif Mehmood Jah that averted an impending poultry crisis in country by ordering release of a ship carrying nine consignments of soybean seed to be used as poultry feed.

“The nine imported consignments of soybean seeds have got stuck-up at Karachi in October 2022 due to sudden intervention of the Directorate of I&I-Customs on the apprehensions that the imported consignments may be of GMO nature and in such an eventuality, the importers are required to obtain a license under Rule 11 of the National Biosafety Rules, 2005, from the EPA and Ministry of Climate Change,” says Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi in a press statement issued here on Sunday.

Chairman Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA), Ch, Muhammad Ashraf filed the complaint with FTO against Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation Customs, Zia added.

The complainant while making a request for release of the held consignments apprised FTO about inability of Poultry Feed Mills to continue their production because of non-availability of soybean and soybean meal which is the most essential feed ingredient.

“Price of presently available limited stock of soybean meal is skyrocketing, also all the feed mills of Pakistan will run out of soybean meal stock in one week from now, resulting in to manufacturing of feed without soybean meal and that feed will not support growth of broilers and production of eggs in layer birds resulting in to shortage of broiler meat and eggs in the country within two weeks from now,” Ch Ashraf had added in the complaint.

This will also deprive the poor people from the cheapest source of protein due to non-availability of soybean meal for the poultry industry of Pakistan, he went on to say.

The complainant further submitted that this situation needs to be immediately resolved inter alia to save the much precious foreign exchange paid by importers to the tune of US$ 110 million, while US$ 335 million is committed through established letters of credit (LCs).

Zia said in its finding after hearing of the case and investigation, FTO observed the imported consignments of soybean seeds have got stuck-up due to sudden intervention of the Directorate of I&I-Customs over the apprehensions that the imported consignments may be of GMO nature.

Zia Sarhadi said timely intervention of FTO not only saved the country from poultry shortage which is already available at high price and in case of non-releasing of consignments the situation had gone from bad to worse.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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