PHC summons top officials over poultry, dairy smuggling

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PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) Tuesday summoned top officials to explain involvement of the police, the livestock and political administration officials in smuggling of poultry and dairy products to Afghanistan causing price-hike in the local market ahead of the holy month of Ramazan.

 

A two-member bench of Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Qaiser Rashid summoned the secretary for Home and Tribal Affairs Department, additional chief secretary Fata and capital city police Officer (CCPO) to appear in person on the next hearing and explain as to why they had failed to stop smuggling of poultry and dairy products.

 

The bench also wanted them to explain what action they have taken against sub-ordinates for their alleged involvement in the smuggling as there were reports that officials of these departments were receiving share in the smuggling of poultry and dairy products.

 

The bench took notice of the report of the PHC Human Rights Directorate about price-hike of poultry and diary products ahead of Ramazan before disposing of the earlier suo moto notice of the hike in prices of these items and lifting ban on export of poultry to Afghanistan. On January 23, 2013 the PHC had withdrawn restrictions on export of cattle and poultry and dairy products to Afghanistan from the province by withdrawing its stay order.

 

The bench lifted the ban after the Cattle Exporters Association and Khyber Poultry Association assured the court in writing that the vacation of the stay order would not lead to shortages and rise in prices of these products in the province. The two associations had said they would accept the responsibility if shortages occurred and there was an increase in prices of these products.

 

However, the court didn’t vacate the stay order issued against export of poultry products by Pakistan Poultry Association to Afghanistan via Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the latter declined to give such an undertaking in writing.

 

The bench also put on notice the Cattle Exporters Association and Khyber Poultry Association to appear in the court and reply as why their sureties of Rs 20 millions to the court should not be seized after having failed to honour their commitment on oath that retail prices of broiler and breeder chicken would not exceed Rs185 per kg and Rs156 per kg, respectively. The PHC’s Human Rights Directorate in its report stated that price of breeder chicken has increased up to Rs172 per kg instead of the promised price of Rs156 per kg.

 

The Cattle Exporters Association and Khyber Poultry Association had given a written undertaking that retail prices of broiler and breeder chicken would not exceed Rs185 per kg and Rs156 per kg, respectively, and would be liable to pay Rs20 million as fine in case of violation of the undertaking.

 

Also, Dairy Exporters Association gave an undertaking in writing that price of beef in the province would not cross the Rs270 per kg after the lifting of the restriction on cattle export to Afghanistan and if that happened it would pay penalty to the tune of Rs10 million. The bench had instructed that prices of these products won’t be increased without its permission.





Courtesy:  The News


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