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November 18, 2017



Sindh Assembly passes Occupational Safety and Health Bill 2017

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Friday unanimously passed into law the Sindh Occupational Safety and Health Bill 2017 to make provisions for occupational safety and health conditions at all workplaces in the province for the protection of workers during work.

At the time presentation of bill in the house, Sindh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that such a law had already existed with the federal government but after the 18th Amendment, the provinces were also required to enact such laws.

The parliamentary affairs minister said that the proposed law is meant to improve the environment of workplaces and to safeguard lives of the workers.

Sindh Information and Labour Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that the tragedy of Baldia Town factory fire occurred in 2012 owing to lack of measures to safeguard the lives of labourers. “We treat Baldia Town tragedy like the Americans treat 9/11 tragedy,” he said.

He said it has become imperative to adopt legislation to ensure compulsory safety measures to safeguard lives of the workers at the workplaces.

Under the proposed bill, an Occupational Safety and Health Council will be established in Sindh with secretary of Sindh government’s Labour and Human Resources Department as its chairperson.

The council will comprise government representatives from departments of industries, Sindh building control authority, health, Sindh environmental protection agency, and fire department of the local government.

Four members each in the council will represent workers and employers respectively. Four professionals will also be made members of the council and one of them will be a woman.

There will be three members from civil society and one of them would also be a woman. The proposed council will advise the government on all matters relating to the objectives of the bill as well as those which the government might refer to the council. The council will also review legislation relating to occupational safety and health and recommend to government for amendments, expansion, clarification under the said legislation.

The proposed council lays down penalties in case of death and injury due to violation. In case of death sub-section 01 of section 38 will accord 2 years imprisonment or a fine of Rs 100,000 or both. Similarly in case of injury the imprisonment may extend to six months or a fine up to Rs 20,000 or both.

New buses in Karachi: Meanwhile, Sindh Information and Transport Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that new public transport buses would start plying in Karachi by December this year.

Giving answers during the question hour, the Sindh transport minister said that a tender will be floated to procure 1,000 buses. They will ply on intra-city routes in Karachi and also between Karachi and other urban centres in the province. He said 600 buses would ply in Karachi under the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto