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August 01, 1999

Falling carpet exports

PAKISTAN is a traditional exporter of carpets and their sales abroad contribute towards to our foreign exchange earnings. In view of the national foreign debt, it is of the utmost importance to mcrease our export earnings.

It has been recently reported that foreign exchange earnings from the sale of carpets had gone down by $ 10.11 million during 1998-99 because there had been a

l fall in the unit value of carpets. This fall could have been taken care of if we had exported more square metres of carpets. Will the Export Promotion Bureau and other authorities concerned take note of this?

As imports increase every year, it has become essential to ensure that exports also rise in order to maintain a balance between the two. We have seen that the export figures have been stagnant at least for the past three years whereas the import bill is steadily increasing.

The government must chart out a plan to promote the sale of Pakistani goods in the world market before we sink further into debt.


Chickens for slaughter,

Chickens in this country is sold without any proper health certification and in an unhygienic way. Poultry meat, being a special blend of high quality proteins, important vitamins and minerals, occupies a very special place in the context of our food security and safety chain.

Unforttmately, under the existing system of meat merchandising, birds which are brought for slaughter to various big cities are gathered from different small farms which are dirty and poorly rlm.

The broilers are brought to street-corner shops for slaughter, where the problem is further aggravated because the environment of such shops is heavily contaminated.

I appeal in the interest of public health to the government and municipal authorities to intervene and urge owners of meat shops to clean their surroundings and improve the environment in which chicken meat is processed and sold.

As a matter of fact, it would be advisable if shopkeepers could be educated and persuaded to clean the meat with water and package it before it is sold to neighborhood customers, as is being done by a few companies.