KARACHI: Provincial Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Coastal Development, Dost Muhammad Rahimoon has issued directives to establish a comprehensive help desk catering to all seven industrial associations in the city.

This announcement came during a pivotal joint meeting held at the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), where key stakeholders convened to address pressing environmental concerns and streamline compliance efforts.

Minister Rahimoon, emphasizing the government unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship, directed the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to swiftly set up the help desk. He underscored the imperative of fostering a conducive environment for businesses while redoubling efforts to mitigate pollution. Additionally, he pledged zero tolerance toward any form of harassment faced by industrialists, stressing the need for full cooperation from the business community in this endeavour.

At the forefront of the discussions was KATI President Johar Ali Qandhari, who shed light on the significant strides made by over 200 industries in achieving compliance with environmental regulations. However, Qandhari revelation regarding the disproportionate 78% share of pollution stemming from government departments cast a sobering light on systemic challenges requiring urgent attention.

Echoing Qandhari sentiments, Deputy Patron-in-Chief Zubair Chhaya stressed the urgent need for infrastructural improvements, particularly the establishment of a combined effluent treatment plant tailored to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Chhaya also advocated for an extension of audit periods and legislative reforms to facilitate smoother compliance processes for industrial units.

Representatives from various industrial associations, including NKATI, FBAT, LATI, BQATI, SITE Superhighway Association, and SITE Association, echoed the urgent need for action. They highlighted the looming environmental crisis posed by inadequate waste management practices and underscored the urgent need for governmental intervention.

Addressing the gathering, Director General of SEPA, Naeem Mughal, reaffirmed his commitment to curbing harassment faced by industrialists and announced plans for a dedicated help desk catering to industrial associations. Mughal proactive measures aim to bridge communication gaps between regulatory authorities and industrial stakeholders, fostering a collaborative approach toward sustainable industrial growth.

The event concluded with a comprehensive briefing by Provincial Secretary for Environment Nabeela Umar, outlining the department performance and underscoring the government steadfast commitment to environmental conservation and industrial development.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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