Wednesday, May 02, 2012
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday announced an increase in the minimum wage of labourers from Rs7,000 to Rs8,000 and 20 percent increase in their pension, while Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif went one step ahead and announced to enhance the minimum wage to Rs9,000.
Addressing a workers convention in connection with the May Day at the Convention Centre in the federal capitalÇ Prime Minister Gilani announced a series of incentives for workers and labourers, including regularisation of contractual employees of CDA, PTCL and HEC, raising the death grant to Rs500,000 and marriage grant to Rs100,000.
The prime minister directed the concerned ministry to formulate a new labour policy envisaging more relief for poor workers. He said the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) was a pro-worker party and had always worked for their rights and emancipation to forward the mission of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.
Recounting the government's pro-worker measuresÇ Gilani said after coming to powerÇ the PPP abolished all the anti-labour laws, including IRA 2002, and carried out legislation, including IRA 2012, to protect the rights of workers. He said the government also restored labour unions and labour appellate tribunals and courts. "This step particularly earned appreciation from all segments of the society, particularly the union leaders," he added.
He said the government also gave ownership to the employees in the public sector entities by offering them shares under the Benazir Stock Option scheme. He said so far shares worth 100 billion rupees had been distributed free of cost amongst the workers of different organisations. To give shelter to the workersÇ he said the government has also launched several housing schemes and so far 1,128 flats and 603 houses had been given to workers on ownership basis.
Prime Minister Gilani also handed over confirmation letters to the newly-regularised employees of different public sector departments amidst pro-PPP slogans. Addressing the convention, Religious Affairs Minister Syed Khurshid Shah said that PPP was the party of workersÇ farmers and youth and it would never be defeated or pressurised by others. He said the history stood testimony to the fact that the names of usurpers perished while the innocent were still alive.
He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto were punished for their loyalty to the workers and for championing their cause. He said today no dictator is being appreciated while the Shuhada are living in their hearts. He said those judges who gave capital punishment to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto were repenting.
Minister of State Sheikh Waqas Akram in his address also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the difficulties of labourers.Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman KairaÇ Minister for Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir Affairs Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo and parliamentarians attended the workers convention.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif went one step ahead of the federal government and announced enhancing the minimum wage of labourers from Rs7,000 to Rs9,000.He made this announcement while addressing a May Day function, organised to distribute keys of houses among lucky labourers who were allotted houses in the Labour Colony on the Defence Road, Lahore.
Shahbaz said for the first time in the 64 years history of the country, the PML-N government in the Punjab had given houses to labourers. He said if an opportunity was provided to the PML-N, houses would be built for all workers and labourers throughout the country. He said the Punjab government was completing a project consisting of 1,296 residential flats at a cost of more than two billion rupees for labourers on the Defence Road. He said provision of residential flats to labourers free-of-cost through transparent balloting in the Labour Colony was an important step towards making Pakistan of Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal.
The chief minister said "Ali Baba 40 thieves" had plunged the country into darkness and the corrupt gang had not only caused an irreparable loss to the economy of Punjab but also to the country. He said step-motherly treatment was being meted out to the Punjab regarding electricity loadshedding and a loss of Rs300 billion had been caused to the economy of Punjab in a year.