PSQCA fails to stop sale of substandard beverages

KARACHI: Though officials of Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) are quite satisfied with their performance, but the sale of different substandard beverages and mineral waters is being continued in Karachi, particularly in slum areas and those public places where usually poor or lower middle class visit more, such as railway stations and inter-city bus stands.

PSQCA Media Advisor Abdul Waheed Memon said that stern actions were being taking against illegal and substandard mineral water plants after receiving complaints in this regard and so far about a dozen plants had been sealed during last few months. “Our teams are active and take immediate actions on receiving of any complain,” he claimed.

Residents of different slum areas, including Future Colony Landhi, Mansehra Colony, Madina Town and Korangi, while talking to PPI said that many shopkeepers in their localities were selling fake cold drinks and juices at the name of multinational brands.

“Actually empty bottles of all cold drink manufacturing companies are being used for selling fake beverages so it is very difficult for anyone to identify it,” they said and added that small factories had been established in houses in the areas where fake soda drinks were being prepared and packed.

Chairman Pakistan Railway Workers Union Manzoor Ahamd Razi said that during former president Pervez Musharraf’s regime, contract of supplying food items and beverages to railway stations was given to an international company which provided quality service till 2007 but after that the situation again changed and now not only substandard and fake mineral water, cold drinks, juices and different food items were being sold at the station across the country but high prices were also being charged.

He condemned this ugly practice and urged authority concerned to take stern actions against those involved in this dirty business. Kaukab Iqbal, Chairman Consumers Association of Pakistan expressed dissatisfaction over the role and performance of PSQSA, saying that Pakistani markets are full of substandard and fake items but no one is there to take action. He said that PSQSA officials were claiming actions and seizing fake items but they had never published their reports about the fakes and substandard items for public awareness which was a big question mark over their performance.

“Our country faces severe energy crisis and we need to save more and more electricity but most of the energy savers being sold in Pakistani markets are substandard. However, no one feels responsibility to take action in this regard,” he noted.

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