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Published Date: Jun 1, 2001

Present Status of Pollution Charge and Finalization of Rules (PB-14)

Mahmood A. Khwaja

Executive Summary

In this paper background, information is provided with regard to decisions made by the Environment Standards Committee (ESC) for establishing a “Pollution Charge” (PC) system for industrial units not complying with National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) in the country.  The ESC was constituted by the Pakistan Environmental Protection Council (PEPC) in 1996, to rationalize NEQS and to work out detailed modalities for their implementation.  PEPC designated Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) as the secretariat of ESC.  Members of the ESC included representatives from government, industry and public interest organizations.

The concept of pollution charge, based on the “Polluter Pays Principal” is a key element of the implementation of the NEQS program in the country.  The modalities for the determination and implementation of pollution charge were evolved through extensive discussions in several consultative roundtable meetings among representatives of industry, government, environmental non-governmental organizations, academic researchers and the private industrial sector.  Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 (PEPA-97) provides the legal basis for it.  Pollution charges are to be applied, uniformly across all industry, initially on ten effluent and four gaseous emission parameters.  The base rate per pollution unit for calculating the pollution charge has been agreed to be Rs.50/- during the first and second year, and thereafter, the base rate will be Rs. 75/-.  The amount would be collected at a progressively increasing rate of 10%, 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% of the base rate respectively, on a period of five years.