LAHORE: The government has allocated Rs500 million for establishing the Punjab Agriculture, Food and Drug Testing Authority (PAFDA).
A steering committee meeting was held on Monday to review steps taken to set up the authority. Additional Chief Secretary Shamail Ahmad Khawaja presided over the meeting.
The new authority will upgrade and enhance testing capabilities of various public laboratories, including the Punjab Drug Testing Laboratory, the Punjab Food Laboratory, the Pesticide Testing Laboratories and the Forensic Sciences Laboratories.
Addressing the meeting, Khawaja said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had allocated Rs1 billion for capacity-building of public institutions to eradicate adulteration in food, drugs, pesticides and fertilisers. “The chief minister will be the chairman of the new authority and will oversee its operations,” Khawaja said.
The meeting decided to present the draft law titled: Punjab Agriculture, Food and Drug Testing Authority Act, 2016 in the Punjab Assembly on April 13.
The meeting also reviewed progress on the recruitment of new PAFDA director general and hiring of a consultant firm for the authority. “PAFDA will operate according to international standards,” he said.
Food Secretary Dr Pervaiz Ahmad, Agriculture Secretary Shehryar Sultan, Primary Healthcare Secretary Ali Jan Khan, Planning and Development Board members Dr Shabana Haider and Agha Waqar Javed, Forensic Sciences Agency Director General Muhammad Ashraf Tahir, Secondary Health and Medical Education Additional Secretary (Technical) Salman Shahid and Law Additional Secretary Mohsin Abbas Syed were also present.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2016.