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November 11, 2018

Sindh’s ban on plastic bags to begin with Sukkur district


November 11, 2018

The Sindh cabinet has made a historic and environmentally friendly decision to ban the use of plastic bags across the province, starting with District Sukkur, where the ban will be implemented within three months, following which it will be expanded to other districts.

The cabinet meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah at the new Sindh secretariat on Saturday, was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, IGP Kaleem Imam and provincial ministers, advisers, special assistants and secretaries.

The meeting was told that a normal polythene bag takes 400 to 1,000 years to degrade, and it is a startling fact that almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists in the environment.

It was pointed out that the amount of plastic waste has been increasing by 10 per cent a year for the past two decades, and that 12 billion plastic bags were used in Pakistan in 1990-91, 43 billion in 2005-6 and 55 billion in 2007-8.

The cabinet was informed that there is a 15 per cent annual rise in the production of plastic bags, and that their estimated number of usage across the country in 2018-19 is 140 billion.

CM Shah said his government had promulgated the Sindh Environmental Protection Act 2014, whose Section 14(3) reads: “No person shall import, manufacture, stockpile, trade, supply, distribute or sell any scheduled plastic product which is non-degradable.”

Discussing the matter, the cabinet stated that the ban may cause loss to traders, but the chief executive said that nothing is above the cause of creating a healthy environment, and directed Environment Minister Taimur Talpur to discuss the issue with traders.


The home department had compiled a list of 27 terminally ill prisoners and forwarded it to the health department to form a medical board, which recommended 12 cases.

These cases included one of a condemned prisoner, another of an Indian national whose case has been sent to the interior ministry, as well as that of a man who was released from the Hyderabad jail this July. Cases of four under-trial prisoners had been forwarded to the cabinet so that they could be granted early release. The advisory body approved the cases during the meeting.

The CM directed Prisons Minister Nasir Hussain Shah to send them a list of inmates still languishing in jails for want of surety bonds as well as a list of foreign nationals imprisoned in Sindh’s jails.


Discussing the use of luxury vehicles, the cabinet approved a proposal to authorise the governor, the CM, the assembly speaker, the high court chief justice, the CS, the police chief and two additional IGPs to use armoured vehicles.

The advisory group decided that ministers or other government officers duly identified to be under threat will be provided an armoured vehicle available in the pool. The chief executive was told that 28 luxury motor vehicles of 1,800 CC are available in the pool for ministers, and that most of the vehicles have already been allotted to them.

At this the CM directed the CS to notify a ban on the purchase of new vehicles for ministers, advisers and special assistants for the next three years, saying that new ministers would use vehicles already available in the government pool.

Police rules

The cabinet discussed the draft of the Sindh Police (Posting, Transfer & Tenure) Rules 2017 and constituted a committee to review the draft and give their recommendations. Recruitment rules of prisons IG and DIG were also discussed.

It was pointed out that the caretaker government had amended Rule 890, for which it had no authority, so the cabinet restored the original Rule 890 with a slight amendment: now the prisons IG shall be appointed by promotion from among prisons DIGs.

The cabinet also approved three bills for their introduction in the Sindh Assembly for approval, namely the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Institute of Trauma Karachi, the Sindh Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, and the Sindh Institute of Child Health and Neonatology Karachi.

Wheat price

The food department requested the cabinet to fix the issue of the price of wheat of the 2018 crop. The cabinet was told that this year the department had procured 1.4 million metric tons (MMT) of wheat at the support price of Rs3,250 a bag.

The department has carried forward wheat stocks of 0.456 MMT of the preceding year, so the total wheat stock available with the department is 1.775 MMT. After the allocation of one MMT of wheat for release, a balance of around 0.775 MMT would be left with the department.

To off-load the leftover balance the case has been taken up with the federal government to allow export of 0.5 MMT of wheat. The remaining 0.275 MMT would be reserved to meet the needs of drought-affected areas and other emergencies.

The food department requested the cabinet to approve the issue price of wheat at Rs3,150 (packed in PP bag) and Rs3,250 (packed in jute bag), as well as a subsidy of Rs7.656 billion to retire the commercial banks’ borrowing.

The CM formed a committee to meet traders and the department’s officials and then give recommendations on the fixing of the issue price. The cabinet also appointed Iqbal Nafees Khan as managing director of the Sindh Civil Servants Housing Foundation for a period of two years.