Lahore, October 12, 2012 (PPI-OT): Provincial Secretaries of Industries, Labour and Environment Friday gave their unequivocal assurance to the LCCI that the industry would not be harassed under the guise of compliance with various regulatory requirements relating to Industrial safety, Environment and Labour in particular.
Provincial Secretary Industries Dr Shujaat Ali, Secretary Labour Hassan Iqbal and Secretary Environment Saeed Wahla were speaking at a seminar on Industrial Safety jointly organised by Industries Department and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry at its premises.
The LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar and Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad invited the attention of the Provincial secretaries towards the plight of the industry. LCCI former Executive Committee member Siddiqueur Rehman Rana gave a presentation of Industrial Growth— Way Forward.
The Provincial Secretary Industries Dr Shujaat Ali said that all the departments were ready to sit with the stake-holders to sort-out the issues being faced by the industry.
He said that they were well aware of the challenges and taking necessary measures to overcome them. He said that the government is under tremendous pressure to implement industrial safety measures.
He urged the LCCI President to form Focus Groups to identify problems for their amicable solution in consultation with the private sector.
“The concerned government departments would be asked to sit with LCCI Focus Groups and find out solutions.”
Secretary Labour Hassan Iqbal said that a Joint team of District and Provincial governments has completed the survey of the industry in Punjab and these industrial units would be visited to educate them about the industrial rules and regulations.
He made it clear that all the government efforts towards industrial safety would remain fruitless until and unless the private sector plays its role.
The LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar called for a comprehensive review of the industrial legal framework in consultation with the private sector in order to make that most pressing industrial safety issues are addressed without undermining the confidence of the business community.
He said that it is very unfortunate that the main law governing Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is the Factories Act 1934 but the health and safety measures prescribed in it and in related laws have not kept pace with the rapidly changing times.
Farooq Iftikhar said that the confidence of the business community is at its lowest ebb pertaining to perceived heavy handedness of regulatory authorities trying to enforce complex industrial safety standards such as those related to environment, location and infrastructure related shortcomings.
In the wake of recent industrial safety related incidents, the regulatory authorities are trying to do too much and too fast without first ensuring that the industry is fully aware of and educated about such compliance requirements, he added.
“While the industry has a clear responsibility in adhering to health and safety standards, the government also needs to realize that compliance of such standards is always complex and costly.”
The LCCI President said that two other factors namely low literacy and high level of informal economic activities further complicate the compliance of industrial safety.
He said that the Regulatory environment needs to be smart and simple. Currently the industry has to deal with layers of industrial regulations which make the entire picture on industrial safety very complicated.
Therefore, the government departments in close collaboration with the chambers of commerce and industry should play their due role in identifying the potential areas of hazards all across the industry and improve the situation by taking measures.
The LCCI Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad said that if the government was interested in conducting Industrial surveys, it must include an LCCI Member and the President of the respective industrial association in the survey team.
The LCCI Vice President also stressed the need for increase in number of employees for cottage industry to ten from the existing strength f five. He said that a special piece of land should be allocated to the Cottage Industry which is backbone of the economy.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854