KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday issued notice to the federal authorities, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research, on a petition challenging ban on use of wooden packing for exporting mango.
A division bench, headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, directed the federal law officer to file comments of the respondent authorities on the petition by May 07.
The petitioners, the country’s exporters of fruit, submitted that Ministry of National Food Security and Research’s Department of Plant Protection had banned the use of wooden crates, boxes and cases, for storing fruits and vegetables intended for exports.
With arrival of mango season, they had placed an order for wooden crates, which have been made. To their dismay, they said, all of sudden government imposed ban on the use of the wooden packing, adding the ban would cause huge irreparable loss to them. Therefore, the court was pleaded to declare the ban unconstitutional and overturn it.
However, the assistant attorney general submitted that the government had taken this initiative to preserve fruit from spoiling. He said that mangos are exported to Dubai, which is a transit hub, from where they are re-exported to other countries which do not accept wooden packing. There is very likelihood that fruit would spoil in wooden packing and if it is found spoiled the country would have to face restrictions on fruits.
The exporters had enough time to go for alternate since the government announced it was going to ban use of wooden packing, he added.
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