KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has ordered removal of illegal occupation of outsiders from 1000 apartments constructed for workers at Northern Bypass.
He said that this is intolerable and this eviction must be made within two months.
He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting of Labour Department here at the CM House, said a statement.
The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Siddique Memon, Additional Chief Secretary (Dev) Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput, Secretary Labour Rasheed Solangi and others.
Briefing the Sindh CM, Secretary Labour Rasheed Solangi said that 1000 apartments have been constructed at Northern Bypass.
In those flats, the flood affected people of 2010 floods had been settled illegally and now they have refused to vacate the flats.
On this, the Sindh CM issued orders to the CS Sindh to get those flats vacated through Police and Rangers within two months. He said that these flats are meant for labours and they must be given to them. “I would not tolerate these `qabza groups’ anymore,” the Sindh CM said.
The Secretary said that Workers Welfare Board (WWB) has provided 7097 flats and 1898 houses in different labour colonies.
These colony are located in Landhi with 1128 flats and 850 houses, SITE 887 flats and 800 houses, North Karachi 154 flats, Korangi 920 flats and 248 houses, Northern Bypass 3008 (the project is under completion) and Gulshan-i-Maymar 1000 flats.
Apart from these, some other labour colonies of 1,504 flats in Hyderabad, 512 flats in Kotri, 192 flats at Nooriabad, 96 at Larkana and 100 houses at Ranipur are likely to be completed shortly.
He said that there were 24 WWB model schools all over the province, of them 22 are functional.
The WWB has also two intermediate colleges where 5,743 children of workers are receiving education. “The board provides uniforms, shoes and books to the students free of cost,” he said.
Talking about WWB scholarship and welfare programmes, the secretary Labour said board gives Rs. 500,000 as death grant and Rs 100,000 for jahez grant,” he said.
The annual scholarship are at the rate of Rs. 19,600 for post matriculation, Rs. 32,000 for graduation and Rs. 42,000 for post-graduation, he added.
He said that during 2014-15 for higher education 38 scholarships of Rs. six million for MBA, MBBS, MS, BBA, BE, BS and B.Tech were given to the children of workers.
Solangi said that under the 18th Amendment different laws such as Sindh Industrial Relations Act 2013, Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI), Sindh Employees Social security Act 2015 and Workers Welfare Fund Act 2015 have been provincialised by making necessary enactment in the Assembly.
Replying to a question, the CS Sindh said that the draft laws such as Factories Act, Shop & Establishment Act, Standing Order Ordinance (Sindh Terms of Employment Act), Workmen’s Compensation Act, Payment of Wages Act, Employment of Children Act and Sindh Minimum Wage Act have been sent to the assembly for enactment.
The Secretary Labour said that the Sindh government has fixed minimum wage at Rs. 13000.
On this the Sindh CM said that he had reports that the Labour department has failed to implement the minimum wage. “It is our commitment with workers and this commitment must be realised in true letter and spirit,” he said.
Talking about SESSI, Secretary Rasheed Solangi said that its main objective was to provide medical facilities to secured workers. Some 29755 factories with 759,339 workers are registered with SESSI and it has also registered 49902 shops with 124338 workers.
He said that SESSI has five hospitals and 42 dispensaries all over Sindh with 107,777 OPD while 2635 indoor patients.
The Sindh CM said that the Valika hospital was old one and had full facilities and he wants to see it equipped with necessary facilities.
Solangi said that the annnual budget of SESSI was Rs 8 billion with Rs 5 billion development budget. It has Rs 3 billion surplus budget.
On this the Sindh CM directed the CS Sindh to personally visit their hospitals and establish a Trauma Centre at Valika hospital.
The Labour department must have emergency centers/good hospitals at Super Highway, National Highway near Dhabeji Industrial Estate and in all the industrial cities like Sukkur, Larkana and Mirpurkhas.
Syed Qaim Qaim Ali Shah directed the Labour department to settle the issue of Worker Participation Fund in consultation with stakeholders on top priority basis.
Presently, the matter is subjudice and around Rs 10 billion of the fund have been deposited with the nazir of Sindh High Court.
He also issued clear directive to the Labour department to work strongly against child labour.
This is a serious issue and he feels that drastic measures have not been taken to eliminate child labour, he said and added that it was the commitment of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto who used to talk against child labour.
Since it was the commitment of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, therefore it is the commitment of our government to eliminate child labour, he added.
Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2016