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Body formed in Sindh to finalise guidelines for reopening industries

Body formed in Sindh to finalise guidelines for reopening industries

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Sunday constituted a committee of health experts, labour and industries secretaries and representatives of the police and Rangers to prepare a standard operating procedure (SOP) for factories so that they could be allowed to resume operation.

He took this decision while presiding over a meeting to review the request of industrialists to allow their production units to start operation to meet export orders.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Dr Azra Pechuho, Saeed Ghani, Ikram Dharejo, Nasir Shah, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Mahar, Home Secretary Usman Chachar, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon, Labour Secretary Rasheed Solangi and others.

The chief minister said that he had held a meeting with the industrialists, particularly those producing export goods and they requested him to allow the operation of their factories so that they could honour the export orders.

Murad says he wants every segment of life to follow SOPs if lockdown eases after April 14

“The request is important and genuine, therefore, a way out can be made for them,” he said.

After a thorough discussion and debate it was decided that a SOP should be worked out for making the factories operational.

The chief minister directed the home secretary to form a committee comprising medical professionals/experts, industries and labour secretaries, senior members of law enforcement agencies and other concerned to prepare a well-thought and workable SOP in this regard.

He directed the home secretary to notify the committee and ask the members to take the industrialists on board and frame the SOP.

“I want SOPs for every sectors, including shops, bakeries, transport, superstore, malls and even for Ramzan so that everyone could follow it after April 14, if lockdown is eased out,” he said.

Mr Shah said that he was keen to allow export-based industry to start operation but “this is the question of human health and containment of the novel coronavirus, therefore we would have to be careful”.

He said that committee for other sectors, including social and welfare sectors would also be formed for framing the SOPs.

Govt spends Rs285m from Corona fund

The provincial government has utilised Rs285 million from the Coronavirus Emergency Fund it has established under the chief secretary.

This was emerged in a meeting of the committee of the fund held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah at the New Sindh Secretariat.

Other members of the committee including Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, Dr Abdul Bari of the Indus Hospital, Faisal Edhi of the Edhi Foundation and philanthropist Mushtaq Chhapra also attended the meeting.

The meeting approved an amount of Rs285m utilized for establishment of the Field Hospital Expo Center Karachi.

The committee also approved another Rs5.5m for purchase of kits and necessary equipment for testing and treatment of coronavirus patients.

The meeting was told that till last week Rs3.55 billion had been generated, including Rs2.87bn donated by government entities and Rs68.44m by private entities and people. The donations are pouring in the fund every day, the meeting was told.

It may be noted that the Sindh government had established the Coronavirus Emergency Fund.

The committee, according to its terms of reference, shall roll-out different measures for rehabilitation, long-term welfare and financial well-being of the coronavirus affected persons and their families.

The chief secretary said that each and every penny of the fund would be spent on the recommendation of the committee and the utilisation of the funds would be audited by leading auditors.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2020

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