Karachi, March 28, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to give serious consideration to regaining the lost markets for Pakistani varieties of rice by launching biryani rice festivals in gulf and middle east and not remain passive to aggressive Indian marketing.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said the TDAP should highlight the fact that in rice the cooking ability and taste are more important and convey in the international markets that our 1121 variety is more tasty and is aromatic as compared to the Indian 1121 variety. Likewise Pakistani Super basmati rice is equal to the much advertised Indian traditional basmati rice. It matches the Indian basmati in length and strength and aroma and in fact is recognized as banquet rice and purchased by the well to do class and others also for special occasions.
He said it is strange that whilst India is giving a free hand to its rice exporters and permitting them to popularize their brands of varieties like Pusa and Sharbati our ministry of commerce is unwilling to comprehend the fact that the buying power has reduced internationally and overseas buyers are looking for rice which is less costly. The Indian shippers are exporting basmati rice and non basmati rice mixed skillfully with appropriate proportions retaining cooking ability under basmati labels and their own brands.
He urged the TDAP to give serious thought to a policy of proactive campaign throughout the year and promote the different varieties of Pakistani rice and propagate their characteristics instead of imposing pre-shipment inspection (PSI) by Quality Review Committee (QRC) which is hindering the transactions of branded rice of exporters by raising objections to uncalled for issues which are no more of any importance or marketing consequence. The Pakistani rice exporter must be permitted to export its own brand of rice under its own responsibility and be made liable for any bonafide complaints.
He said India has worked on promoting brands and built brand images by competing whereas our policy makers have put road blocks which are impediments to marketing.
The QRC supporters in the government and the big rice exporters lacked the vision and today the big and the small to medium sized rice exporters have realized that the QRC is futile and the sooner it is done away with the better it will be.
The QRC inspectors are themselves not well versed with different varieties of rice and have been entrusted to inspect rice of exporters who have been in rice business since pre partition times. One such firm is more than 100 years old and there are several who are in the business for more than 50 years.
The ex commerce ministers and TDAP heads under the influence of the big rice exporters supported and promoted the concept of PSI not realizing that it is the prerogative of the buyer and PSI is always by a third party.
The union has urged the TDAP to work hard and support the rice exporters to achieve the target of exports of US Dollars 2 billions and above in the remaining quarter.
For more information, Contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Phones: + 92 35884225 and 6
Cell: + 92 300 8245307 and + 92 321 8245307
Fax: + 92 35380642