Fed govt-IMF deal affects labour rights: Bilawal

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the federal government-IMF deal has badly affected industrial growth in the country and it had also deprived our workers of their rights.

He urged the federal government to direct FBR to stop collection of Workers Welfare Fund immediately and the funds collected so far should be transferred to Sindh hovernmeny. This he said while addressing the distribution ceremony of Benazir Mazdur Card organized by Labour department here at CM House. The ceremony was attended by provincial ministers, Saeed Ghani, Nasir Shah, Jam Ikram Dharejo, Waqar Mehdi, Industrialist Zuabir Motiwala and others, labour leaders and workers.
Bilawal said that the PPP government in Sindh was observing Labour Day by launching `Benazir Mazdur Card’ under which the workers would be able to avail all the necessary benefits and facilities such as education, health, marriage grants, financial assistance, scholarships and top of it pensions.

He said that it was Shaheed Zulfikar who had launched labour-friendly policies under which the workers had been given shares. There were trade unions to project their [workers] rights but when dictator General Zia came into power he snatched away all the rights of the workers.

Bhutto recalled that Mohterma Benazir Bhutto during her first tenure returned all the snatched rights to the workers and strengthened them and create more employment opportunities for them. He slated the federal government-IMF deal and said that it had badly affected industrial growth. When industrial growth is stopped, the employment opportunities are shrink, he said and added today thousands of workers had been rendered jobless because the industrial production has come down.

The chairman congratulated the provincial government for launching Benazir Mazdoor Card and directed the chief minister to enhance the benefits of the card. He said that PPP government during the tenure of President Zardari had strengthed agriculture and industrail sectors. “We had issued Benazir Income Support Card to poor women so that they could meet their needs,” he said.

Addressing the ceremony, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that his government believed in serving the poorest of the poor, including vulnerable segment of the society and was committed to provide them their due status and respect.

Shah said that under the 18th Amendment, the Concurrent Legislative List had been abolished and all the subjects enumerated in the list including ‘Labour’ have been devolved to the Provinces. He added that the Sindh govt had enacted numerous laws to protect the rights of workers. “I am proud to say that the provincial government had enacted 16 labour friendly laws,” he said.

The CM said that the labour department had organized first Sindh Labour Tripartite Conference on 11th December 2017, wherein one of the recommendations was to ‘universalise Social Security in Sindh’. “Based on the recommendations the Sindh government announced first Labour Policy in February, 2018,” he said and added that his government on the instruction of the chairman PPP decided that the Social Security would be made universal. “The scope and coverage of social security will also be extended to all workers as well as employees, including self-employed, domestic and home-based workers,” he announced.

According to the concept of Universalization of Social Security in Sindh, the workers who intend to register themselves with SESSI and pay contribution at the rate of six percent of minimum wage fixed by the government, shall be issued a ‘Benazir Mazdur Card’, Murad Ali Shah said and added with the card, the workers of Sindh would be entitled to have all benefits/facilities such as education, health and financial assistance available under Social Security Workers Welfare Fund laws.

The CM said that SESSI entered into an agreement with NADRA in September last year for the issuance of a Smart Card known as ‘Benazir Mazdoor Card’ to the secured workers.

Shah said that keeping in view the recommendations of Sindh Labour Tripartite Conference, representation of Employers/Employees in all the Boards and Governing Body of SESSI have been increased upto 40 percent and representation of Government of Sindh had been decreased by 20 percent, which showed the importance of workers in the decision making. “Not only this, but Industrial Tripartite Committees have also been constituted for redressal of the grievances of employers and workers,” he said.

Shah called for implementation of the 18th Constitutional Amendment in its true letter and spirit as well as immediate devolution of Workers Welfare Fund and EOBI to Sindh Province.

He also urged the federal government to provide due share of Sindh Province in WWF and in EOBI and also transfer assets and property to the Sindh government. Shah urged the federal government to direct FBR to stop collection of Workers Welfare Fund immediately and the funds collected so far may be transferred to Sindh Government.

Speaking on the occasion, Saeed Ghani said that the number of workers working in industrial units operating in the province was much higher than the registered workers. He vowed to register all the workers so that they could take benefit from the Benazir Mazdoor car.

He said it was the dream of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to provide necessary facilities to the workers and today her dream was being realized. Earlier, the chairman PPP distributed Benazir Mazur cards among the workers. Those who spoke on the occasion include industrialist Zubair Motiwala, labour leader Habibuddin Junedi and Secretary Labour Rasheed Solangi.

Solid waste management for Larkana: Sindh Chief Minister presiding over a local government department meeting directed Sindh Solid Waste Management Board to develop a proper solid waste management system in Larkana.

The meeting was attended by Minister Local Government Syed Nasir Shah, Chairman P&D M. Waseem, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Local Government Najam Shah, MD Sindh Solid waste Management Board Zubair Channa and other concerned. The chief minister was told that the population of Larkana city was 590,579 and around 337 tons of garbage was generated daily. The city has 20 union councils where 70 temporary garbage collection points have been set up.

The chief minister directed the minister local government to immediately acquire a suitable landfill site near the city and start a system of garbage collection from door to door and then shift the same to garbage transfer station and then transport to the landfill site.

MD SSWMB told the chief minister that the tender for outsourcing the entire solid waste management right from sweeping of garbage, collection from door to door and transfer to Garbage Transfer Station (GTS) had been prepared and approved by the government. The chief minister directed the SSWMA to invite tenders for the solid management of the city and start development landfill site.