iconimg Thursday, May 28, 2015

Peerzada Ashiq , Hindustan Times
Srinagar, October 21, 2013
While soldiers are busy foiling infiltration bids on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, another bid to push sub-standard spices from Pakistan through the LoC into the valley was detected and aborted by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Monday.
The SMC's public health wing had sent 109 samples of food items, including a Pakistan-based spice manufacturing unit, to the public analyst to check food standards in September this year.

Six samples, including a well-known Pakistan brand, were found sub-standard on Monday.

The MC has banned a batch of Shan Chappali Kabab Masala for public distribution.

The famous brand is manufactured by Shan Food Products Pvt. Ltd in Karachi's Korangi Industrial area.

"We found it of sub-standard quality. We will be lifting it from the market from tomorrow. It is not fit for public consumption," said SMC health officer Dr Shafqat Khan.

The famous spice brand is traded to Kashmir through the LoC. It was on October 21, 2008, the trade was reopened through the Kaman post in Uri after a gap of 61 years in the valley. Around 21 items are traded through the route.

Mubeen Shah, chief of the Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI), an apex body of 22 members from both sides of the LoC, has taken exception to the reports of sub-standard food items being traded to Kashmir.

"Whether sub-standard items are coming from Pakistan or India, they should be dealt as per the law," he said.

Shah said he will raise the issue at the right forum and ask traders from across the border to desist from such practices.

"This is unacceptable. There should be no compromise on public health. Such malpractices will spoil the purpose of trade with our counterparts on other side of Kashmir," said Shah.

Meanwhile, dealers of five food items have been asked to immediately stop the sale or face action.

Other batches of sub-standard food items were from Faridabad-based Yorker Mango Drink, Himachal Pradesh-based Narvas Mango Drink, Punjab-based Bonanza Cola Sweetened Carbonated Beverage, Mumbai-based S and S Karala Juice and Jamund Juice and Srinagar-based Agrino Suji Batch.