Chairman of All Pakistan Meat Exporters and Processors Association (APMEPA), Nasib Ahmad Saifi has urged the government to provide the export sector of Halal meat and products a level-playing field to win a prominent place in international market. Nasib Ahmed said the Halal industry is a fast emerging business in the world which is attracting both Muslims and non-Muslims. He said Halal food is consumed not only by 1.5 billion Muslims around the world but also by at least 500 million non-Muslims that shows a big scope in the Halal food industry to tap the world market.
It is estimated that the annual Halal products business across the world is about $2.1 trillion of which about $80 billion is being exploited which is 5 percent of the total trade of agri-food products. However, Halal food trade may have a share of 20 percent of world trade in food products in near future, while the demand for Halal products is now on the rise across the globe, he added.
Talking to Business Recorder, Saifi, who is also the convenor of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) standing committee on Halal Products, said that people attached with this sector are being discouraged by the government in shape of heavy taxes. “Even quarantine department was charging Rs 120 for beef carcass and Rs 20 for mutton carcass but now they are charging about double amount. We are not demanding subsidy from the quarantine department but we appeal it to at least reduce this fee and contribute to Halal food exports,” he added.
He said there are many steps needed to make Pakistan a brand name in the global Halal market including bringing down the high prices of livestock and stopping its smuggling and restricting female animals’ slaughtering. He reminded the Chief Minister Punjab his promise of giving land to meat exporters so that they could rear their own herd and cut their cost for being competitive in the international meat market. He also urged that the government should not allow new abattoirs as already installed ones were not running at their full capacity while some are on sale because of no business.
Saifi proposed for making efforts to get Southern Punjab’s desert area, Cholistan, declared disease-free from the International Organisation for Animal Health to market it in the Halal meat importing countries. This needs special and quick implementation because India is getting declared all its animal producing areas as disease-free which has given boost to export. He also asked to take special steps for vaccination of animals, especially for foot and mouth diseases (FMD).
He appealed the government to reduce taxes deducted at source up to 0.50 percent so that all exporters show their full value of export and whole tax could be deposited in the national kitty. He also called for making special agreements with airlines to capture spaces on lower freights for food/meat sector.
Saifi urged for declaring abattoirs free of power-outage or allowing them to produce their own power from bio-gas. “For the same, a Germen company is willing to provide us 0.5 megawatt of electricity by compressing bio-gas with the latest technology. Raw material for bio gas is being produced in such a huge quantity in our own abattoirs, and we only want the government to contribute 50 percent of the cost of this plant,” he added.