A parliamentary panel was informed on Monday that gearing up for Euro-4 or Euro-5 would be counterproductive unless the vehicles are upgraded and declared fit with regular inspections. The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights, which met here with Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar in the chair, discussed the issue of ecological and aquatic effects of oil refineries working in the country and the government's policy to overcome the said issues.
Ministries of climate change and petroleum, provincial environment and transport departments and representatives of oil refineries briefed the committee. The committee was told that 43 percent pollution in the country was due to low grade oil being imported and used by transport industry. In Pakistan Euro-2 standard is applied while the world has gone to Euro-6 technology.
Prime Minister Imran Khan recently said the government had decided that till end of year 2020, Euro-5 fuel would be imported, while the recent fuel would be converted into Euro-4.
The committee was informed that almost nine percent of national GDP was affected due to climate change, due to low yields and more expenditure on health. There is need for strong coordination between federation and provinces and the standards should be uniform nationwide.
The country's five oil refineries are still primitive and at infancy stage, while Pakistani oil has high magnesium and sulphur contents which are hazardous to health. The last refining sector policy came in 1997 and since then no upgraded framework has been emerged; however, the ministry has from time to time issued regulations and directives to the refineries regarding up-gradation in technology and usage.
Citing reports, the committee was informed that around 128,000 deaths occur annually - directly or indirectly - due to climate change and children being weak in fighting organ diseases are worst affected.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2019