LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan is the 10th biggest country with regard to livestock production and there is a lot of potential in livestock sector in the country.

He expressed these views while addressing the inaugural ceremony of 5th International Halal conference and an exhibition at a local hotel, here yesterday.

Minister of State of Malaysia Haji Abdul Mulk, Malaysian Honorary Consul General Abdul Rafique Karim, Chinese Consul General Yu Boren, Advisor on Livestock Arshad Jutt, delegates from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and China besides a large number of persons associated with Halal industry attended the seminar.

The chief minister said that the volume of livestock trade in the world is one thousand billion dollar but Pakistan’ share in this trade is almost negligible. He said that it is a fool for thought for policy makers, scientists and livestock experts of Sindh, Punjab, KPK, Balochistan and the whole country.

He said that the national economy can be strengthened through development of livestock and there is a need for practical measures in this regard. He said that a state of the art slaughter house has been set up in provincial metropolis which is the most modern slaughter house of the country but it is lamentable that it has not been fully utilized.

He said that national economy can be revived by increasing trade of Halal products. He said that law has been prepared in this regard and the bill will soon be presented in the Punjab Assembly.

Shehbaz Sharif said that it is honor for him to attend Halal Food conference and he welcomes foreign and local delegates. He said that experts of China are also attending the conference. He said that holding of conference is a commendable effort of Punjab Halal Development Agency. He said that useful recommendations will come forward in the conference for increasing Halal products and an opportunity will be given to benefit from the experience of friendly countries.

He said that holding of the conference is praiseworthy but there is a need to take practical measures to increase the share of Pakistan in the trade of Halal products and development of livestock sector. He said that there is culture of Gao Mata in India but still it is exporting tons of Halal meat to Malaysia.

Shehbaz Sharif said that the government has set up a state of the art slaughter house in Lahore but efforts to increase export of Halal food have failed which is a matter of concern. He said that there is a lot of potential in livestock sector in Pakistan and there is a need to benefit from it. He said that instead of lamenting the past mistakes it is time to move forward with commitment and determination to develop livestock sector and increase Pakistan’s share in the business of Halal Products.

He said that there is also a big demand for Halal food in China. He said that China has given economic package of 46 billion dollar to Pakistan and a number of projects are being set up in the country. He said that investment of 36 billion dollar is being made in energy projects. He said that the fruits of agreements between Pakistan and China are reaching the masses.

The chief minister said that energy crisis had affected agriculture, industries, livestock and other sectors but it will be overcome due to the efforts being made by the government. On the other hand, he said that no work has been done for the development of Livestock Sector. He said that it should be a point to consider by politicians, government officers and livestock experts.

He said that negligence of institutions concerned with development of livestock sector and increasing experts of Halal products is lamentable. The Chief Minister expressed the hope that in the light of recommendations of the conference, practical measures will be adopted for expanding the business of livestock and Halal food. Malaysian Minister of State Haji Abdul Mulk congratulated Punjab government and organizers on the holding of conference.

He said that Pakistan is a super power with regard to Halal products and it should contribute its share in the business of Halal products. He said that legislation with regard to Halal products is of vital importance as otherwise availability of Halal products and services is not possible.

He said that Pakistani government especially Punjab government has undertaken legislations in this regard which is commendable. Punjab Halal Development Agency Justice (r) Chairman Khalilur Rehman while presenting address of welcome highlighted aims and objectives of Halal conference and exhibition.

He said that the purpose of arranging the conference is to promote halal industry and trade. He said that Pakistan Muslim League-N government has enforced Pakistan Halal Authority Act at the federal level and a bill has been prepared in this regard in the province which will soon be presented in Punjab Assembly.

He said that this legislation will ensure supply of Halal items to the masses. Vice Chancellor Veterinary University of Animal Sciences while addressing the conference said that a special programme has been started for the training of butchers with regard to Halal products and speedy progress is being made for utilizing the potential in livestock sector. Later, the Chief Minister inaugurated the 5th International Halal Conference and Exhibition and also inspected different stalls.