KARACHI  - The Sindh Assembly on Friday passed a bill titled Sindh Occupational Safety and Health Bill, 2017 aimed at making provision for occupational safety and health conditions at all workplaces.  

The bill tabled by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuhro was aimed at protection of persons at work against risk of injury arising out of activities at work places and for the promotion of safe, healthy and decent working environment adapted to the physical, psychological and psychological needs of all persons.  

As per the bill, the workplace could not be permitted to work unless an approval from the provincial government and before allowing any workplace to initiate its work, it would be ensured that it had adopted all necessary safety procedures necessary for the workplace.  

No person could make any amendment to the workplace without the approval of the competent authority and would also ensure that those living around it should not be affected from it.  

A Sindh Occupational Safety and Health Council would be established which would be headed by secretary labour department and its members would be representatives from industries, health, environmental protection and local government departments, Sindh building control authority, fire brigade, four representatives each of workplace owners and labour unions and four experts in the safety field.  

Inspectors would also be appointed to ensure workplace safety and they were authorized to halt the work process at the place if necessary safety rules were not adopted while those who would be bent on repeating violations of the law would have to face the imprisonment and fines.  

The fines would range from 50,000 to 250,000.  Speaking on it, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that a similar bill was enacted from the national assembly, however, under the 18th amendment, the provinces also had to legislate on the issue.  

It would help in improving the situations at workplace and improve safety procedures there.  

Minister for Information Nasir Hussain Shah said that the Baldia Factory incident occurred due to lack of workplace safety arrangements and it was a devastating incident for the people of the city.  “It is important to restrict the owners of factories and other workplaces to ensure safety for their workers so that the Baldia incident will not repeat again,” he said.  

MQM lawmaker Dilawar Quershi said that the marriage halls and hotels should also be made part of the bill. The speakers said that the shopping malls, factories, marriage halls should have their own snorkels so that in case of emergency they could easily rescue the people and extinguish fire at high rise buildings.  

Meanwhile, speaking on a cal attention notice, PTI Parliamentary Leader Khurram Sher Zaman said that street of Marine Drive apartment located at Block-2 Clifton is being blocked by the management of Bakhtawar Tower by raising concrete wall due to which area residents are suffering. 

Meanwhile, PTI lawmaker Khurram Sher Zaman had submitted a resolution in Sindh Assembly demanding immediate removal of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar who is facing corruption charges in the country.  

“He is running his businesses from London but have no attention towards the economic condition of the country,” he said in the resolution and added that the country could not wait for the finance minister’s resignation instead he should be removed from his post immediately.  

Talking to media outside assembly and responding to the resolution, the information minister said that the PML-N should bring in a new finance minister as the country is currently running without a finance minister. “If he is ill then he should focus on his diseases rather than running such a key post,” he said.  

The House was later adjourned for Monday.