STAFF REPORT IBD: The biotechnology sector has suffered from negligence in Pakistan with the lack of funds and resources to also mismanagement. The substandard practice in hiring manpower and less trained personnel who run biotechnology institutions have also been the cause of impediment in development in the field. Development in biotechnology can help in agriculture, medicine, energy and environment.

The only effort that seems to have come forward from the government is to create commissions and bureaus that give “seats” to “most favoured people” without delivering on any substantial contribution. Similarly, the National Commission on Biotechnology was formed in 2001 which supervised development and research in the field, but now has been defunct.

Biotechnology can ease the way to progress, but that too has been a victim of negligence. Currently, there are around 26 institutions in Pakistan which are conducting research in biotechnology and genetic engineering.

So far, around Rs 1 billion have been spent on research and development in the field of biotechnology over the past five years on projects approved by the Ministry of SandT and the HEC.

Now, the National Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Policy and Action Plan are being formulated to be implemented in the coming years through different institutions.

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