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PSQCA found 222 drinking water brands found substandard

Lahore : Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) sealed 222 bottled drinking water brands including Kinley and Aquafina over selling substandard water and working illegally, without having Pakistan Standard Licence, during last 18 months.

According to a report issued by PSQCA Secretariat, as many as 753 bottled drinking water brands were identified in markets of the country and samples of many of the companies failed, over which the PSQCA sealed some 222 brands on the spot.

As at 31/12/2017 , units carrying valid License stands at 278 Nos.

On special directions of Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain, PSQCA formed a task force to eradicate these fake and illegal brands from the market, which started inspection in July 2017 and found a large number of brands were illegal, working without having Pakistan Standard (PS) Mark in the country.

On complaints, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain took notice of the situation and directed the authority to start grand operation to eradicate illegal and fake water companies in July 2016.

During market surveillance activities, it was observed that 222 brands of bottled drinking water brands (out of 753) were being operated illegally / without PSQCA License in the country and all were seized as per provisions of PSQCA Act 1996 and Conformity Assessment Rules 2011.

Later on considering the commitment of units owner towards improvement and compliance to the norms of certification scheme of PSQCA, 146 brands were de-seized out of which 30 brands were awarded with PSQCA License after due verification of the pre-requisites and product quality in accordance with the relevant standard specifications while remaining 85 are in the process of development of quality infrastructure, owners of 31 brands voluntarily declared to close their business as they were not able to meet norms of PSQCA and remaining 76 brands are still seized.

As many as 77 licences of the different brands were cancelled and they were ordered to stop their production while at present 145 number of brands are in licensing process out of which 85 brands were provided opportunity to get them aligned with PSQCA norms after de-seizure.
Total number of 26 cases were filed against PSQCA in which PSQCA mandate was challenged out of which 7 cases has been decided in favour of PSQCA while 19 are pending.

Total number of 26 cases were filed against PSQCA in which PSQCA mandate was challenged out of which 7 cases has been decided in favour of PSQCA while 19 are pending.

DG PSQCA Engr. Khalid Siddiq said that as per PSQCA mandatory certification scheme bottled drinking water plants are being inspected on quarterly basis to evaluate suitability and maintainability of their ability, quality control system to produce a quality product as per applicable standard along with periodic market surveillance to get open market samples for assessment of product quality to ensure that quality product is available to the consumer.
He said that as per Certification mark scheme PSQCA issues Licenses to the manufacturers after detailed assessment of production capabilities, quality management system, onsite testing facilities including raw material, semi-finished and finished product, availability of the competent technical manpower in order to manufacture and deliver standard quality product.

Licensees are visited and their product quality is monitored through independent laboratories on periodic basis.

PSQCA is determined no to compromise on product quality, in this regard availability of technical and competent manpower and provision of complete equipment and facilities for evaluation and monitoring is ensured before issuance of conformity mark license.

PSQCA provides opportunities to the manufacturers for establishing a good quality management system which is essential for production of a standard quality product.

“Retailers and distributors being as key stakeholder play a significant role to eradicate substandard products from the market, considering the fact notices were issued to different retailers and distributors to remove PSQCA non licensed products from the shelves and sale only products that bearing PS logo”, he added.

PSQCA in line with the instructions of the Federal Minister, has also issued a new Policy under which these units are being directed to shift from the residential areas .

Under the new Policy the units are required to meet minimum level of Technical manpower , QC equipment and no new license is being granted/ renewed unless its requirement are verified.

He said that a MoU has been signed between PSQCA and PCRWR in order to identify the units engaged in illegal manufacturing and sale of substandard and fake brands of bottled drinking water in the country.

Under this MoU, a joint monitoring mechanism has been devised and designated teams are conducting market survey and draw samples from different regions of Pakistan which will be tested by PCRWR in order to ensure provision of safe and clean drinking water to the consumers at their door step.

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