Sub-committee recommends removal of project director

Says multiple violations occurred in olive-import project


Peer Muhammad April 15, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: A special sub-committee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Food Security and Research on Thursday recommended the immediate suspension of the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (Parc) project director of the olive-import project.

The special committee also took serious note of the approval given by the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) to the infected olive plants without examining samples and laboratory report.

Established by the National Assembly Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research, the special sub-committee was tasked to probe into the Rs2.4 billion olive project.

During the probe, the committee was informed that the DPP had recently given a clean chit to the 60,000 imported olive plants, which were previously declared infected by fungus after laboratory test and inspection committee.

“We are surprised as to how the DPP gave a clean chit to the infected plants without examining the samples and lab tests and how the payment was made to the company,” noted committee chairman Rao Muhammad Ajmal.

Committee member Salman Baloch said the DPP had serious capacity issues as its incumbent director general was an ex-flying officer, who had even not completed his flying hours during service. “Why did the Ministry of National Food Security and Research give him such an important position without any logic and merit?” he questioned.

The plants were imported by a firm named RSS in November last year and payment was made last month on the basis of the clearance report by the DPP.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2016.

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