NA body expresses
displeasure over senior MoIP officials’ absence

ISLAMABAD (APP): Chairperson National Assembly Standing Committee on Climate Change MNA Munaza Hassan expressed displeasure over the absence of senior officials of the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) in the meeting and sent a notice of displeasure to the ministry.
The Committee meeting chaired by MNA Munaza Hassan expressed concern over the loss of precious lives during the recent snowfall in Murree and directed that Ministry of Climate Change should develop proper liaison with concerned ministries and departments to avoid such incidents in the future.
The Chairperson also deferred four agenda items moved by MNAs Amjad Ali Khan, Dr Haider Ali Khan, Nuzhat Pathan, and Murtaza Javed Abbasi and asked the Ministry to send their presentations on the agendas of the members concerned for relevant questions. Chairperson of the committee directed the members to come up with workable recommendations alongwith their questions for a result-oriented outcome.
The Committee also directed that Ministry of Climate Change to take up the issue with Punjab government to stop the mushroom growth of Commercial and Residential plazas adjacent to Murree Expressway to circumvent further environmental pollution and locate other resorts to promote tourism in the country.
The Committee discussed the details of “The Pakistan Environmental Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2021” (moved by MNA Ali Gohar Khan) and directed the Climate Change Ministry to hold a meeting with Mover of the Bill and the Law Ministry to remove lacunas in the proposed legislation, and report to the Committee in the next meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Malik Amin Aslam responded to various queries of the Committee members. He said the natural calamities like Murree snowstorm would occur with increasing propensity in the future due to environmental degradation and climate change. “It cannot be mitigated or avoided rather adapted with better climate resilience and disaster preparedness to cope with natural disasters.”
Amin mentioned that a massive beef up of early warning systems and weather monitoring stations across the country was underway in various projects of the Ministry of Climate Change.
“Early warning and proper disaster management plans and responses in place can help amicably reduce risk of human and collateral damage in the disaster prone regions.”
Recharge Pakistan project was underway at the Ministry that worth US$150 million to develop wetlands along the left and right banks of Indus River proposed by the Ramsar Convention, he informed.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul also informed that a Water Table Regulatory Authority was also being proposed by her Ministry to regulate groundwater extraction across the country.
She pointed out that the Ministry of Water Resources raised objection on the Authority’s set up claiming it as its official domain. The Chairperson of the committee recommended directing the Ministry of Water Resources to allow Climate Change Ministry to work on the project. The Minister also informed that her Ministry was also working with the Punjab Tourism Department to introduce new tourism sites to reduce pressure of winter tourism and also to develop those capacity to cater overwhelming
tourist influx.