KARACHI: The Union of Small and medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has received clarification from the ministry of commerce (M0C) that the condition of mandatory membership of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has been removed with effect from 23rd April 2012 and rice exporters do not have to be members of REAP for exporting rice to global destinations.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said we are grateful to the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) for seeking the clarification from the MOC.
He said the clarification became necessary due to the behavior of the Quality Review Committee (QRC) which created the confusion by demanding REAP membership number from rice exporters. Even REAP did not inform its members that the mandatory condition was removed and kept silent on the issue.
Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) in response to his clarification request to MOC at the behest of UNISAME, received clarification from Altaf Hussain Maitlo Assistant Chief (Export) MOC stating that the MOC had already removed the condition of mandatory membership of REAP vide notification dated 23rd April 2012 and attached a copy of the notification for ready reference.
UNISAME has now invited the attention of SM Munir chief of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and urged him to direct the QRC to obey the notification order and not demand REAP membership number from rice exporters and also new entrants in rice export business and not misguide the rice exporters to obtain membership or renew membership.
It is pertinent to note that those rice exporters who wish to become members or continue to remain members may do so out of their own free will but cannot be compelled to become members.
However UNISAME wishes to see REAP flourish and has requested REAP to reduce its membership fees to make it affordable for the small exporters and the new entrants. Secondly UNISAME wishes to see REAP as a strong representative body of all rice exporters big and small.