India QueenThe Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of the ministry of commerce to the difficulties being faced by the SME rice exporters due to the lingering in the implementation of already decided closure of the Quality Review Committee (QRC). President Unisame Zulfikar Thaver said it was finally decided by the Ministry to close the QRC as it was unanimously agreed that QRC has become futile and the committee as pointed out by all stakeholders is not serving any purpose. The buyers prefer to import rice in their own or selected brands of blended rice.

He urged the federal commerce minister engineer Khurram Dastagir to direct the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to disband the futile committee and to close it immediately as every single day matters for closure of this troublesome body. Many buyers demand blended rice of different varieties with basmati rice as basmati rice has aroma and when mixed with 1121 and 386 makes it aromatic.

It is pertinent to note that 1121 is the most expensive rice. It is in great demand all over the Gulf and Middle East countries but is not classified as basmati rice. The demand for basmati rice is very little as compared to 1121 and 386. QRC is not required anymore and its presence as an inspection cell is more a hurdle than a monitor because it is issuing certificates for non-basmati rice as basmati rice under pressure to keep business going. The big rice exporters are obliged but the SMEs are facing difficulties.