Islamabad : The government has launched the first-ever Halal Food Accreditation scheme, and the move will be followed by the establishment of a Halal Board, which could bolster the country’s export.
Addressing the launching ceremony of Halal Food Accreditation scheme here Tuesday, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali said that Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) has achieved a milestone by launching Halal Food Accreditation and the political government fulfilled its promise to open the scheme.
He also said that the Ministry of Science and Technology will set up a Halal Board for Halal Food Accreditation and until its establishment, the cost of certification will be subsidized by 50 per cent. And added that Halal Board will provide policy guidelines to PNAC and PSQCA, and that the plan for this Board is to have representation from the private sector and Ulema, along with representation of government functionaries.
He went on to say that the $ 2.77 trillion estimated global value of Halal market is fast growing further with more consumer awareness not only in food sector but also in non-food products, like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, healthcare, toiletries and other non-consumables. Pakistan having rich potential in livestock, dairy and poultry sector has the capability to capture this new market of Halal Food, the minister added.
Federal Secretary Science and Tecnology Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar said that Pakistan, being an Islamic country, needs to benefit from this opportunity. Once a recognized Halal certified goods/services chain starts, it will help local sales and exports.
On this occasion the Director General(DG)PNAC Anjum Bashir said that PNAC, being an apex body, has a mandate to accredit conformity in Assessment Bodies like Laboratories, Certification/Inspection Bodies as per the international requirements under the WTO regime. It has achieved a milestone of Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) with International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) & Asia
Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC). It also gives PNAC equivalent status, to other reputed accreditation bodies of North America, Europe & Far East Countries.
He said that the importance of Medical Labs Accreditation was increasing every day in this era of technological advancements and competition in the healthcare service sector. PNAC has taken in-time initiative to improve the Health care Sector by launching Medical Labs Accreditation Scheme.
It is pertinent to mention here that Sectoral committee had already given its go ahead been pre-requisite to launch the Halal Food accreditation scheme.