THE commercial importers of X-ray equipment are required to get registered with the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA). The registration fee is Rs100,000 followed by a yearly Rs50,000 renewal fee. They are also supposed to get a no-objection certificate from the PNRA every time in advance for the clearance of X-ray equipment from Customs.
Besides, it is also the responsibility of the importer to get a licence for the end-user of the X-ray equipment from the PNRA after paying an initial licensing fee and submitting a copy of CNIC and the layout of the X-ray installation site in advance before selling the end-user the X-ray machine.
If this is not done, the importer can’t get the NOC from the PNRA. While I agree that it is necessary to ensure that every X-ray machine user gets a licence because the X-ray machine is a radiation-emitting source, it should be the job of the PNRA, which is a dynamic organisation with three regional nuclear safety directorates and enough staff, to ask the X-ray machine user to get a licence.
When a person imports a car, does the government ask the importer to ensure that the driver gets a driving licence in advance?
Similarly, when the licence for TV/VCR/radio was in vogue, were sellers asked to get end-users licensed in advance?Pakistan has a high ratio of corruption in the world.
Such draconian laws will only promote the import of X-ray equipment through unfair means.
Therefore, I earnestly request the chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and lawmakers to take some judicious steps in this regard.
(Name withheld on request)