Attock Chamber of Commerce and Industry asks government to improve its deteriorating ranking in food security index

Islamabad, August 22, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Attock Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on Wednesday asked government to improve its deteriorating ranking in food security index as almost half of the country’s population remains food insecure.

Every person has a right to physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food on consistent basis that fulfils the dietary needs for living an active and healthy life, it said.

Pakistan has been placed at 75th position amongst the 105 countries ranked by the Global Food Security Index 2012 which has raised concerns, said Tariq Mehmood, President Attock Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Speaking to business community, he said that affordability, availability and quality of the food in Pakistan needs serious review as it has been ranked lower despite increase in agriculture output which indicates lack of efforts to combat growing hunger, he added.

The business leaders said that Sri Lanka and India have performed better than Pakistan by securing 62nd and 66th positions on the index.

Tariq Mehmood, who is also Director Pak-UK Business Council and Chairman FPCCI Committee on Health, said that government should think seriously about providing cover to 61 million food insecure people which is a major national issue.

Rising food prices, floods, poverty, conflicts, terrorism, energy crisis, economic slowdown and political instability are some of the factors behind hunger, he observed.

Government should consider other aspects of food security besides increasing the wheat production as a bumper wheat crop in the few districts does not guarantee that the rest of the country would have better access to staple, he noted.

Meanwhile, the ACCI welcomed the move by the Indian consumer goods group Godrej to establish operations in Pakistan to become USD 33 billion conglomerate soon. This is a sign of deepening trade between Saarc’s largest neighbours.

The ACCI office bearers and members said that Pakistan is the sixth largest country in the world in terms of population which provide great opportunities for the overseas investors.

USD 83 billion India Tata group is also stepping into Pakistani market while Mian Mohammad Mansha is also opening banks in India, such moves were not possible without the efforts of national business leaders Tariq Sayeed and Iftikhar Ali Malik who devoted their lives for improved ties between two nuclear-armed states, they observed.

Both countries should expedite economic and political reforms and allow direct investments, the businessmen demanded.

For more information, contact:
Syed Masood Alam Rizvi
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332

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