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Coronavirus
LOW Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
28,767
624hr
Pakistan Cases
1,286,825
37224hr
0.82% positivity
Sindh
476,674
Punjab
443,453
Balochistan
33,506
Islamabad
107,887
KPK
180,316

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change on Monday expressed concern over lack of progress by National Assembly on Environmental Protection (Amendment) Bill 2020, a private member bill moved by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Faisal Javed Khan that provides for imposition of fine on anyone involved in littering.

In the meeting of Senate panel, the PTI senator pointed out that the said bill was passed by the Senate in January this year and it was still pending in the National Assembly.

Members of the Senate committee expressed their concern on the “lack of due process being followed in National Assembly.”

Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir assured the committee that she would take up the matter with National Assembly Secretariat and inform the committee on the status of the bill within a week. Pakistan Environmental Protection (Amendment) Bill 2020 seeks to prohibit littering at public places by imposing financial penalty on anyone involved in littering.

The bill seeks to amend Pakistan Environmental protection Act 1997 to impose penalty of Rs 2000 to Rs 5000 on person(s) involved in littering at public places.

Hamayun Mohmand from PTI presided over the meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change due to the unavailability of PTI’s Seemee Ezdi, the committee’s Chairperson.

The officials from the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) briefed the committee on the steps being taken to address the issue of littering at Margalla Hills.

The officials from Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) briefed the committee on the air quality and reasons behind the rise in air pollution caused by various substances. The committee was informed that the main sources of air pollution were vehicular emissions, industrial emissions, solid waste burning and brick kilns.

It merits mentioning here that Senate panel voiced serious concerns over the performance of Pak-EPA in the past against the backdrop of poor air quality coupled with increasing air population in the federal capital.

Taj Haider from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) suggested that brick kilns should be incentivised to shift to zigzag technology which, he said, leads to reduction in emissions.

The climate change state minister informed the committee that she was “in the process of getting airtime on the state television to broadcast climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in national and regional languages.”

The committee reviewed government’s Global Change Impact Studies Centre (Amendment) Bill 2021 that has already been passed by National Assembly and currently pending with the Senate panel.

The bill seeks to amend Global Change Impact Studies Centre Act 2013 to “address climate change and related concerns which are not truly reflected in its existing nomenclature.”

The bill proposes to change the name of Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC) to Global Climate-Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC). The bill also provides for the reconstitution of GCISC Board of Governors (BoG).

The GCISC officials briefed the committee on the proposed amendments in GCISC Act 2013. Sherry Rehman from PPP pointed out lack of parliamentary representation in the GCISC BoG.

The committee members were unanimous in their contention that lack of parliamentary representation in the BoG of GCISC would raise questions over the performance of BoG in the wake of absence of parliamentary oversight.

Zartaj Gul agreed to the committee viewpoint regarding parliamentary representation and assured that Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) would support the proposal to have parliamentary representation in GCISC BoG.

Committee members; Leader of the House in Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Keshoo Bai, Khalida Ateeb and Abida Muhammad Azeem as well as senior government officials from relevant departments also attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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