ISLAMABAD – The three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) unveiled by the government on Thursday endorses proposal to support Women Chambers by strengthening their research and reach out capabilities.In order to facilitate disabled persons, it the policy recommends allowing import of second hand motorised wheel chairs freely by anyone for use by disabled persons.In order to safeguard health of the general public and to ensure that no misuse takes place, it is proposed that only the industrial units registered with relevant public health agency may be allowed to import non-sterilised surgical needles and syringes.To help meet the needs of hospitals, charitable institutions or other large organisations such as universities etc., it is proposed to allow import of second hand or used ambulances subject to these conditions:(i) Certification by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) that the vehicle was built as an ambulance; (ii) Pre-shipment inspection from recognised agencies ;(iii) The ambulance should not be older than five years; (iv) Undertaking from the importing institution that the ambulance shall be registered in the name of that institution and shall not be used for any other purpose.To ensure that consignments of plastic scrap do not contain any hazardous scrap, it is proposed to impose complete ban on import of the following categories of plastic scrap: (i) hospital waste of all kind; (ii) used sewerage pipes; and (iii) used chemical containers. To control unscientific arid explosives-based orthodox mining, it is proposed to provide markup subsidy at 100 percent of the prevailing rate on the installation of wire saw cutting machines in KPK, GB and Balochistan; and 50 percent subsidy on the cost of wire saw cutting machinery.It has also been proposed that all such mining concessioners which are not using controlled blasting and are not switching to scientific mining, their mining concessions may be reviewed by Mining and Mineral Departments of the respective provinces in such a way that an 'environmental degradation penalty' is imposed on explosives blasting from 1-7-2015 and a complete ban on their mining is imposed with effect from 1-7-2017.Currently export of vegetable and cooking oil upto 16KG packing is allowed. In order to facilitate exporters and to encourage value addition, it is proposed to allow export of Vegetable Ghee & Cooking Oil in packaging of upto 25 KG.Existing Import Policy Order provides that import of goods shall be subject to same quality standards as prescribed for domestically produced goods. It is therefore proposed that all domestic standards formulated by Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) may be made part of Import Policy to ensure that imported goods conform to it.Currently import of job lot and stock lot items, where the custom duty is zero while the raw material attracts duty upto 5 percent, are permissible for import. These imports not only hurt manufacturers in most cases but also deceive consumers. Therefore, it has been proposed to impose complete ban on import of job lot and stock lot goods.To tap the enormous potential of export of services, especially to Asia, it is proposed: (i) to create a Foreign Trade Wing for Services in the Ministry of Commerce;(ii) to establish the Services Trade Development Council; and (iii) to set up a special task force for facilitating development of E-Commerce.The STPF 2012-2015 further stated that for promotion of international trade it is proposed to:- (i) strengthen National Tariff Commission so that it can play its role more effectively and efficiently;(ii) creation of Resource Management Unit by strengthening of International Trade Organization Wing (ITO) at the Ministry of Commerce and ;(iii) ineffective mechanism for resolution of trade disputes has tarnished Pakistan's image amongst the international business circles and it discourages emergence of Pakistan both as a destination for investment as well as a reliable import source.Export promotion needs strong performance by a country's Export Promotion Agencies [EPAs]. EPAs in Pakistan are under-resourced and not tuned to modern challenges of export promotion. The SPTF proposed to overhaul trade offices abroad by providing both financial and improved human resource after carrying out a performance analysis.This will be done in the following way:- (a) creation of Export Promotion Wing in the Ministry of Commerce within available resources to provide a mechanism to monitor the performance of Trade Officers and address their problems;(b) through the Export Promotion Wing, Ministry is instituting a system of annual performance evaluation, having both qualitative and quantitative aspects with the possibility of recalling 3 lowest performing Trade Officers;(c) Trade Officer and local based Trade Development Officer (TDO) would spend 15 days in Pakistan to work closely with supply side institutions and exporting firms; (d) performance evaluation report of Trade Officer would be jointly initiated by the Ambassador and regional trade officer and countersigned by Secretary TDAP and second countersigning by Secretary Commerce. In countries where there is a single trade officer, the PER would be initiated by an overall regional trade office which is proposed to be established to complement the regional dimension;(e) regional dimension would be added to the functions of Trade officers;(f) the work place environment of Trade Officers would be improved and;(g) Trade Officers manual would be updated providing detailed job description and ToR's and complete work plan for Trade Officers including Annual Plan, Reporting requirements etc.