Bilawal launch Benazir Mazdoor Card
KARACHI: Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has 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 government.
Bilawal Bhutto said that the PPP government in Sindh was observing Labour Day by launching `Benazir Mazdoor 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 Zulfikar who had launched labour-friendly policies under which the workers had been given shares. There were trade unions to project workers’ rights but when dictator General Zia came into power he snatched away all the rights of the workers.
Bilawal recalled that Benazir Bhutto during her first tenure returned all the snatched rights to the workers and strengthened them and create more employment opportunities for them.
Criticizing the federal government-IMF deal, chairman PPP said that it has badly affected industrial growth. When industrial growth is stopped the employment opportunities are shrink, he said and added today thousands of workers have been rendered jobless because the industrial production has come down.
Syed Murad Ali Shah
Elaborating the salient features of the Mazdoor card Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah explained and said after the 18th amendment the Sindh Govt has enacted numerous laws to protect the rights of workers. “I am proud to say that the provincial government has 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 Mazdoor 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.
Mr 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 has 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. Murad Ali 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. Murad Ali 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. Earlier, the chairman PPP distributed Benazir Mazdur cards among the workers.
Those who spoke on the occasion include industrialist Zubair Motiwala, labour leader Habibuddin Junaidi and Secretary Labour Rasheed Solangi.