Accord inked for disposal of NOCs to builders

KARACHI - Sindh Minister for Information, Law and Environment Jameel Yousuf and the Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) have agreed for fast track processing and disposal of applications submitted by builders and developers for No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

This was decided in a meeting held at ABAD House between the provincial minister and ABAD Chairman Arif Yousuf Jeewa on Thursday.

The minister said that he had also experienced bureaucratic hurdle that is the reason why he visited the ABAD with concerned official so that we could resolve issues regarding issuance of NOCs to builders and developers.

He said that he had written to director general of SEPA to issue NOCs immediately after due process according to rules because businessmen are investing huge money into their businesses and they cannot wait for a long period. He lamented that it looks like no official is ready to work but new Additional Chief Secretary Mukhtiar Soomro is trying his best to streamline working of the department.

The minister ordered on the spot to concerned officials to respond to the proponent within seven days and fulfill all obligations within stipulated time frame according to the rules and regulations.

He also agreed with the proposal of the ABAD that section 17(4) of SEPA Act which is regarding timeframe of issuance of NOC, be printed on the prescribed form.

Yousuf also agreed to a proposal of the ABAD that all applications of builders and developers for NOCs be forwarded by the ABAD to SEPA for further processing for that ABAD will coordinate between its members and SEPA.

Earlier, addressing the meeting, the ABAD chairman complained that despite stipulated time frame SEPA is using delaying tactics which are bothering builders and developers because their projects are delayed due to non-availability of environmental NOCs.

He said that relevant rule regarding time frame for issuance of NOC be printed on the prescribed form so that proponent can know the time frame and fulfill his responsibility accordingly. He said that the SEPA should also issue acknowledgement to the proponent. He said that the ABAD will play its role as pool between proponents, who are members of the ABAD and SEPA for swift resolution of issues.

The ABAD will collect all such applications and forward to the SEPA for further processing, he said and adding that focal persons from both the side also be appointed for continuous coordination.

The Minister accepted the suggestion and said that two officers from the SEPA and two members from the ABAD will look after the affairs. At the end of the meeting ABAD crests were given to the Minister and Additional Chief Secretary Mukhtiar Soomro. ABAD Senior Vice Chairman Fayyaz Ilyas, Southern Region Chairman Altaf Tai, Former senior vice chairman Muhammad Hassan Bakshi, Additional Chief Secretary Environment Mukhtiar H Soomro, SEPA Additional Director General Noman Mughal and Technical Director Waqar Phoolpoto and other were also present in the meeting.

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