Karachi: As a part of the Government of Sindh’s current focus on moving aggressively to transform the regulatory environment of the province, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has de-notified the requirement for environmental approval for nine types of projects.
These projects are said to be low-impact environmentally, and can now be started without applying for the SEPA’s approval by submitting an Environmental Checklist.
A hand-out says, this move affirms the government’s commitment towards implementation of Ease of Doing Business (EODB) reforms in Sindh.
SEPA has also improved the timeframe for granting environmental approvals.
The approval process for Environmental Checklists will now be completed in 15 working days compared to 30 earlier.
This reform will facilitate getting construction permits more smoothly and readily; this ease of processes is aimed at incentivizing the inflow of business toward the province of Sind.
The nine projects exempted from environmental approval include:
1. Warehouses for storage of non-hazardous/non-combustible materials having total covered area less than 2,000 sq. yards (except cold storages)
2. Multi-storied buildings excluding educational institutions, restaurants and hotels with a height up to 70 feet and covered area up to 2,000 sq. yards
3. Parking Plaza/Building for parking vehicles covering area up to 2000 sq. yards
4. Marriage halls and banquet facilities up to 500 square yards of plot size
5. Baking and confectionary units up to 500 square yards of plot size and without installation of boiler or pressure vessel.
6. Bus and Wagon stands up to 4000 square yards
7. Small scale brick and block manufacturing units (non-kiln) up to 2000 square yards
8. Motor vehicles workshops and maintenance garages up to 500 square yards and
9. Basic Health unit with less than 10 beds capacity.
“This step will not only help spur quicker business activity in the province but also reduce the unnecessary workload on an important agency like SEPA,” said Naheed Memon, Chairperson Sindh Board of Investment (SBI), and focal person for EODB reforms in Sindh. The aim of these reforms is to make Sindh an easy and competitive place to do business. With regard
s to this endeavour, the Government has formed Sindh Investment Climate Improvement Cell (SICIC) – a dedicated unit for execution of the reform agenda.
This reform is a part of the larger plan developed with the help of World Bank to introduce Ease of Doing Business reforms at the federal and provincial levels, the hand-out concludes.