Islamabad - A senate committee was informed here on Monday that 43 percent of pollution in Pakistan was caused by the import of low grade oil which was used by transport and energy sectors.

Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights that met under the chairmanship of Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar was also told that five oil refineries in Pakistan were still in their infancy, which produced oil with high magnesium and Sulfur contents.

The Senate body, in its meeting, discussed at length the ecological and aquatic effects of oil refineries located in the country and the government’s policy to overcome these issues.

Officials of Ministries of Climate Change, Petroleum, provincial environment and transport departments and representatives of oil refineries briefed the committee on the occasion.

The committee was told that according to reports, around 128,000 deaths occurred annually, directly or indirectly, due to climate change and children being weak in fighting organ diseases were the most affected ones.

In Pakistan Euro-2 standard is applied while the world has gone to Euro-6 technology, it was told.

The committee was informed that almost nine percent of country’s GDP was affected by the climate change, and there was a need for a strong coordination between the Centre and provinces and that standards should be uniform nationwide. It was told that the last refining sector policy came in 1997, and since then there had been no upgraded framework.

However, the ministry has from time to time issued regulations and directives to the refineries regarding the upgradation in technology and usage.

It was also pointed out that going to Euro-4 or Euro-5 would be counterproductive unless vehicles were also upgraded and fit with regular inspections.

The committee directed all the relevant departments to bring to the committee written responses and recommendations on the issue so that informed discussions could be held and subsequent actions with respect to legislation and policy could be proposed.

The meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, was attended among others by Senators Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Dr Mehr Taj Roughani, Keshoo Bai and Barrister Muhammad Ali Khan Saif.