KARACHI (16-12-2017): SITE Association of Industry protests promulgation of Sindh Industries Registration Act, 2017 which stipulates in-house treatment plant to become mandatory before setting up industries. Expressing his surprise over the decision of the Sindh Government to present the draft law in the Sindh Cabinet for approval, Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, President, SITE Association of Industry stated that all the industrialists have never agreed to the new law making it mandatory for industrial units to install a pre-treatment plant within their factory premises to treat toxic waste. The new law – The Sindh Industries Registration Act – would also make it mandatory for all industries established since 1991 to get registered with the department.
Mr. Jawed Bilwani, President, SITE Association of Industry further stated that the draft of the Sindh Industries Registration Act, 2017 has not been circulated amongst all the stakeholders before its proposed promulgation. According to Mr. Jawed Bilwani, President, SITE Association, the new proposed law, Sindh Industries Registration Act, 2017 would provide a parallel and overlapping law and a separate set of penalties which are already covered under SEPA. A person, under the Doctrine of Double Jeopardy, cannot be punished under two enactments for the same offence, which is bound to happen after promulgation of The Sindh Industries Registration Act, 2017, added Mr. Bilwani.
SITE Association of Industry reiterates its stance for establishment of Combined Effluent Treatment Plant-I in SITE by the Government rather installation of pre-treatment plants within their factory premises by the industrialists to treat toxic waste. The PC-I of the CETP-I was finalized in 2016 and funds were allocated in the budget for this project after the concerted efforts made by the SITE Association of Industry.
Mr. Bilwani demanded that the Government of Sindh may seek the viewpoint of all the stakeholders including the SITE Association of Industry, the sole representative of the country’s largest and oldest industrial estate before presentation of the proposed law – The Sindh Industries Registration Act, 2017, in the Sindh Cabinet for approval and subsequent promulgation.
Associations representing all seven industrial areas of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry slam Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) closure notices to industries in Karachi in an urgent called meeting to address the issue. Landhi, SITE, Federal B Area, North Karachi, SITE Super Highway, Bin Qasim and Korangi Associations of Trade & Industry representatives of KCCI were gathered to discuss the issue.
The meeting observed that SEPA is trying to hide behind its unjustifiable notices. It is also said that treatment of industrial waste before dumping it in sea, is the basic responsibility of concern institutions and authorities, for this purpose 4 joint treatment plants had been approved 20 years back but this project is yet to be materialized.
The meeting also observed that it is a legal completion to establish Sindh Environmental Protection Council under the Sindh Environmental Act 2014. This Act also made it compulsory to give representation to Industrialists and KCCI in the council, however this council is competent authority to form environment protection standards in the province, though the council is not been formed yet, than how SEPA can issue notices to the industry while this agency is not been authorized to define standards? It was questioned in the meeting.
This gathering observed that legal requirements were not accomplished by SEPA so the notices are illegal. This joint meeting cautioned that this issue can bring a crisis for industry and economic setback for the country; hike in unemployment was also feared.
All the representatives of business and industrial community demanded CM Sind Murad Ali Shah to give immediate directives for withdrawal of notices issued by SEPA and take strict action against incompetent elements of environment protection authorities and institutions of the province.
At the Extraordinary General meeting was held at the SITE Association of Industry, Karachi on 21st April 2018 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Muhammad Jawed Bilwani.
Industrialists attended in large number and were very vocal and asked the President to take strict and legal steps against the Federal and Provincial government. Industrialists were very expressive, showed serious concerns and reacted strongly on load shedding which is making impossible to survive in these economic conditions.
Industrialists showed their readiness to close their factories for indefinite period however they were of the view that the success of such step lies in complete unity and harmony of all industries and industrial estates of Karachi. Participants showed their complete trust on the decision to be taken by the President of SITE Association, as the industrial sector has suffered millions of rupees production losses due to power breakdowns and shortage of water.
Mr. Muhammad Jawed Bilwani (President) after taking inputs from the participants who were gathered at the SITE Association for an Extraordinary General meeting, announced the following unanimous resolutions:
Mr. Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, President of SITE Association urged the Prime Minister of Pakistan; Chief Justice of Pakistan and Chief of the Army Staff to take serious note of the current situation otherwise the Government would loose 50% of direct taxes due to closure of large number of export oriented units in Karachi. On behalf of members the largest trade Association of Pakistan he pleads for an amicable solution of current dispute between K-Electric and SSGC.
Karachi Industrial Forum (KIF) has claimed that industries of Karachi have faced a massive financial loss of approximately Rs 37 billion during the last three weeks due to belated decision on SSGC and KE dispute on gas supply.
The presidents of all industrial town associations have appreciated the Prime Minister’s announcement that SSGC will provide 190 mmcfd to K-Electric for power generation but they said the decision has been taken after 26 days of which industries have faced financial losses of some Rs 37 billion.
“Industries have faced billions of rupee losses due to the dispute between two utility providers, while on the other hand K-Electric and SSGC have not lost a single rupee during this period”, they added.
KIF urged that as now the issue has been resolved; government must ensure that the electricity should be supplied to industries without interruption forthwith. They further demanded the Industrial Town Associations must be taken on board in respect to the matter of SSGC and K-Electric.
“The issue of electricity has been resolved now there is need to address water crisis otherwise the Karachi Industrial Forum will go for a peaceful protest again”, they threaten.
They have also appealed to Prime Minister of Pakistan and Sindh Chief Minister to resolve the issue of water as well because the water supply to industries has been stopped.
Karachi industrialists demanded that water quota for all industrial zones must be declared and government should inform about the quantity of water being currently supplied to all the industrial areas in Karachi.
The Industrialists of Karachi appealed the federal and provincial governments to save the industries, exports, foreign exchange earnings, employment and economy from complete collapse by providing uninterrupted basic utilities – power, water and gas and required infrastructure.
Earlier, on Monday morning, Karachi Industrial Forum (KIF) representing SITE Association of Industry (SAI), Korangi Association of Trade & Industry (KATI), Federal B Area Association of Trade & Industry, Landhi Association of Trade & Industry (LATI), North Karachi Association of Trade & Industry (NKATI), SITE Super Highway Association of Industry (SSHATI), Bin Qasim Association of Trade & Industry (BQATI) staged a peaceful protest demonstration at the Karachi Press Club followed by the Press Conference in the wake of severe water and power outages which has reduced the industrial production to approximately 50 percent bringing the industries to the verge of disaster.
SITE Association president Muhammad Jawed Bilwani led the protest. While addressing the Press Conference accompanied KATI president Tariq Malik, FBATI president Muhammad Babar Khan, NKATI president Shahid Sabir, SSHATI president Dr Kaiser Shaikh, LATI president Islamuddin Zafar, BQATI president Salim Dada and other industrialists lamented that the industries have been facing severest ever crisis of power since last 26 days whereby industries are compelled to stop due to no power supply from K-Electric for 8-10 hours every day.
Similarly there is no water from KW&SB for last 26 days. When industrialists through self-help make water available through sub soil, the same is also disturbed every now and then. Supply of water through tankers in industrial areas is restricted. Harassment by bureaucracy of all departments is also rampant.
Jawed Bilwani said the industrial sector of Karachi is entirely documented and 100 percent in the tax net and contributes major share in tax base. The Industries can only change the fate of our beloved country from under-develop to develop nation but has been victimized. “It appears that the situation being faced by the industries is pre-planned and there are some ulterior motives to wipe out the industries to ultimately destroy the economy of Pakistan”, he added.
He mentioned that the water tariff is highest in Karachi i.e. Rs 243 per thousand gallons whereby in other cities of Pakistan is Rs 50 to 55.
“To provide water, power and gas as well as infrastructure is the prime responsibility of Government. For last more than one decade, the democratic electoral process has been continued and the elected representatives have been at the helms of affairs in the Government”, he said.
Nonetheless, the industries have been deprived to provide the basic amenities and the Federal and Provincial Government of Sindh are only busy in lip service and giving hopes. Bilwani said the industries are the only rays of hope and genuine source to decrease the trade deficit, increase exports, generate more employment and uplift economy.