Govt to finalize its policy on industrial hemp (bhang) by December this year: Senator Shibli Faraz

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Senator Shibli Faraz, on Wednesday, informed a parliamentary panel that the industrial and medicine hemp (bhang) policy will be ready by December.

According to the details, while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Science and Technology which met under the chairmanship of Sajid Mehdi at Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), Ministry of Science & Technology, Islamabad, he said “The government is all set to launch a Tech Tsunami in the country, as there is no future without moving forward in science and technology,” said the minister

Faraz gave a detailed briefing to the committee on energy conservation in household electrical appliances.

The electric appliances used in the country are not up to standard, the committee was informed. They said a study had been conducted on the fans and motors used in the country, adding that around 100 million fans were being used in the country. They opined that around 40-60 per cent of electricity could be saved by changing the material of fans and motors and making motors and fans standard.

The committee was further informed that around 3,400 MW of electricity could be saved daily by upgrading the standard for fans and motors. Around $3.4 billion is required to generate so much electricity. In winter, the demand reaches 8,000 MW. 16,000 MW of electricity is used only for cooling, the committee was informed.

Faraz and Member PCSIR, Dr Naseem Rauf, briefed the committee on the cultivation and production of industrial and medicinal hemp. They said that work had been started on a project to use hemp in industry and medicine. Hemp cultivation has been started in Rawat, they said, informing the committee that the price of hemp seed was eight to 12 dollars and that the global cannabis market will reach $95 billion by 2025. They underscored that cannabis seeds will also be produced near Rawat. The project will be completed in three years and will cost Rs. 1896 million, the committee was told. It was informed that ANF had approved four sites for cannabis cultivation as it was on board.

The minister said this was a pilot project, and a letter was written to the Prime Minister regarding the cannabis policy. The policy will come in December and Commerce Ministry and DRAP are also on board, he asserted.

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