KARACHI: Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister on Law, Environment, Climate Change and Coastal Development Barrister Murtaza Wahab has agreed to a proposal given by the Karachi business community to review the Sindh Environmental Protection Act 2014.

However, he said that the business community should cooperate in the implementation of the Sindh government’s environmental protection agenda and promote recycling of goods and biodegradable plastic bags.

Addressing the inaugural session of a two-day symposium organised by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on the topic of ‘Integrated solid waste management’, the adviser said that the ban on non-degradable plastic bags was enacted last year, said a statement on Wednesday.

He said that the business community should abandon banned plastic bags and promote disposable and environmentally friendly plastic bags to make the ban on buying, selling, manufacturing, and use more effective.

He said that the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had launched a fully fledged legal campaign to make it effective and action had been taken against violators in that regard.

However, during the lockdown enforced to prevent coronavirus, the campaign became slowed down, but that would now be resumed, he added.

He asked the business community to discourage delivery, sale, and manufacture of prohibited plastic bags at all levels.

Approving Zubair Motiwala’s suggestion from the business community for a review of the Sindh Environmental Protection Act 2014, the adviser said the government had no qualms if the business community wanted to make further suggestions for effective enforcement of laws.

“We all know that the main purpose of this law is to ensure sustainable development in Sindh through prevention of environmental pollution and protection, preservation, rehabilitation, and improvement of the environment.”

He directed the environment secretary to set up a review committee within a week and said that the first meeting of the committee would be held in his office within a week after its formation.

He asked the business community to invest in recycling so that used items could be exploited to control the growing garbage menace and minimise the increasing waste.

He further said that the Sindh government was also going to legislate in that regard so that maximum incentives and facilities could be given to the recycling industry.

Replying to a question, Murtaza Wahab said that the Sindh government had approved repair and construction of 11 roads in the SITE industrial area.

The first tranche of funds in this regard would be released soon, he added.

Prominent leaders of the business community Zubair Motiwala and Shariq Vohra also spoke.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2021

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