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April 6, 2020

CM Murad Ali Shah okays formation of committee to work out SOP for making industrial units operational

Karachi

April 6, 2020

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has constituted a committee comprising health experts, the secretaries of the labour and industries departments, and representatives of the police and Rangers to prepare standard operating procedures (SOP) for factories so that they could be allowed to start operations during the lockdown regime.

The CM took this decision on Sunday while presiding over a meeting to review the request of industrialists for allowing their units to start operations to meet the export orders. The industries, except those related to the food and pharmaceutical sectors, have been shut down in the province due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Dr Azra Pechuho, Saeed Ghani, Ikram Dharejo and Nasir Shah, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Sindh Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Mahar, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Home Secretary Usman Chachar, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon, Labour Secretary Rasheed Solangi and others.

At the outset of the meeting, the CM said he had held a meeting with industrialists, particularly those who were producing goods for exports, and they requested him to allow the operations of their factories so that they could honour their export orders. “The request is important and genuine, therefore a way out could be found out for them,” he said.

After a thorough discussion, it was decided that an SOP should be worked out before allowing such factories to be opened. The CM issued directives for the formation of a committee comprising medical experts, the industries and labour secretaries, senior members of law enforcement agencies and other relevant persons to prepare a well thought-out and workable SOP for such factories so that they could be allowed to operate.

The meeting also agreed that such SOPs should be formulated for various sectors such as shops, bakeries, transport, and superstores, and even for the holy month of Ramazan so that after April 14, if the lockdown is eased, the government makes it mandatory to observe these SOPs.

The CM said he was willing to allow the export-based industries to start operations but the government wanted to ensure all the protective measures as this was the question of human health and containment of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

It was decided that the home department would notify the formation of a committee for framing the SOP for the export-oriented industrial units so that they could be allowed to start their operations. The committee for other sectors would be notified later on.