Journey to develop a new National Quality Policy accelerates

Mr. Kamran Ali Qureshi, Secretary MoST addressing the seminar

As the globalization of markets is rapidly being shaped by technological developments, it is creating a big challenge for enterprises in the developing economies in accessing markets in the more developed economies. Therefore, more and more governments are carefully reconsidering the overall arrangement of their national quality infrastructure.

For the same purpose of providing further input into the draft of National Quality Policy (NQP) replacing the one published in 2005 and for the development of framework for technical regulations, a series of focus group and working group meetings took place in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad sponsored by the TRTA II programme funded by the EU.  These meetings were a follow-up of the work of the past twelve months to develop the first working draft of the NQP.  The working group in Islamabad met under the umbrella of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), who took the lead in developing the new policy, while in Lahore the meeting was ably organised by PCSIR and in Karachi by PSQCA, two of the pinnacle National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) organizations of the country. Stakeholders from both the private and public sectors were invited, whereas the senior officials of MoST, including the Federal Secretary also attended the meetings.

Mr. Bruno Valanzuolo, CTA of TRTA II programme speaking at the seminar

In all three meetings, the first working draft was presented and comments and recommendations were welcomed from the participants. National and International experts had discussions on the National Quality Policy (NQP), Current Pakistan National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) and challenges for WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade in Pakistan. Mr. Martin Kellermann an international UNIDO expert ventilated the first step to develop the new all-encompassing National Quality Policy for Pakistan. He read a concept paper that presented the rationale for NQP development and a draft of content list based on international good practices as well as a series of discussion and decision points that would be considered in the context of Pakistan during the development of the policy. The discussions were lively, and suggestions to enhance the draft were made by many of the participants.

The new NQP would now be developed, especially in the light of the increased focus on exports, staying mindful of the success of the countries in and around the subcontinent. The NQP provides Metrology, Standards, Accreditation services and Conformity at the fundamental level, supporting the inspection, testing and certification services that provide the compliance evidence.

All the recommendations would be considered in the development of the second working draft of the NQP, which would be widely circulated to solicit further comments and recommendations before it gets validated in workshops in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad during March 2014.  Thereafter it would be presented at the political level for consideration, approval and implementation.