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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce, unanimously, approved, “The Imports and Exports (Control) (Amendment) Bill 2023” to address hardship cases, received from the business community and other quarters for one-time relaxation of import/export-related prohibitions and restrictions.

The meeting was held here on Thursday with Senator Zeeshan Khanzada in the chair.

At the outset, a comprehensive discussion took place regarding the Imports and Exports (Control) (Amendment) Bill, 2023. Ministry officials informed the committee that the powers to relax prohibition and restriction, however, imposed on import and or exports under the IPO/EPO, in cases of urgency or in the public interest, are vested in the federal government.

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As such, all cases of relaxation, on one-time basis, have to be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration. To improve administrative efficiency and to secure the interest of trade and commerce of Pakistan, it is proposed that the said powers to grant one-time relaxation may be vested in the Federal Minister for Commerce.

As such, the Federal Minister/Minister-in-Charge shall be responsible for actions both to the Cabinet and the Parliament. The proposed amendments will enable to address hardship cases, received from the business community and other quarters for one-time relaxation of import/export-related prohibitions and restrictions. After due deliberations committee unanimously approved the amendments.

The committee was apprised of the steps taken to resolve the issue of imported vintage cars already parked idle at the dry port for clearance.

Officials informed that a summary will be forwarded in the coming days to the Cabinet for consideration to resolve the issue as one-time dispensation. The chairman committee directed that the ministry should consider providing a waiver to affected people in terms of damage caused to the vehicles due to this inordinate delay.

The committee received a comprehensive briefing regarding the proposed amendments in the “Trade Marks Ordinance, 2001.”

The Chairman Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO) informed that amendments have been proposed to comply with the Madrid Protocol, enabling provisions are incorporated into the Trademarks Ordinance, 2001 (TMO-200l). In addition, certain amendments in TMO, 2001 are also necessary to undertake international best practices of trademarks registration. To add enabling, provisions for electronic services and bringing it in consonance with the IPO Act, 2012. He further informed that the proposed amendments have been finalised in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders. The committee after thorough deliberations, unanimously, passed the amendments.

The committee meeting was attended by Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Chairman IPO, and senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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