8th Employer of the Year Award 2020: Messages from Dr. Arif Alvi (President Islamic Republic of Pakistan)
TEXT: At the 8th Employer of the Year Award 2020 ceremony organized by the Employers' Federation of Pakistan, His Excellency; Dr. Arif Alvi, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, put forward his gratitude for the seven decades of resilient hard work done by the EFP. He highlighted the efforts of the apex body of employers to strengthen Human Resource Development, Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety and Health, and compliance with core International Labour Standards in Pakistan. President further recalled his visit to EFP Secretariat in 2017 and a meeting at the Governor House two years back. He added by saying how pleasing it is to see how EFP has broadened its domain through the Economic Council. He encouraged the Council's initiative, and its vision as a pragmatic approach is crucial to march on the avenue of prosperity. "We need to focus on Brand Pakistan", the President's emphasizing point to the audience. Pakistan's export potential by indigenous resources and products and determination for value addition was a key-point of the President's speech and appreciated the minerals to chemicals strategy and its overall significant economic impacts in providing employment opportunities to the population living in mining proximity.
The President advised the Economic Council to develop linkages and synergies with the countries involved in the mining and export of minerals. He insisted that the adaptability of modern technology in the mining sector is pivotal, and if we continue with the outdated and obsolete methods then it will impact our progress. Employers should make sure all acceptable measures of safety in place on plants to respond to any disaster. It is a social responsibility of an employer to ensure well being of its workforce. The President commented after crediting EFP on putting Occupational Safety and Health a priority by providing OSH audits and guidance. The provincial governments of Balochistan and KPK were encouraged to introduce and pass OSH Act in their respective assemblies as it has happened in Sindh and Punjab.
The Federal Government's smart lockdown decision was put forward as a crucial step to ensure enterprises continue to operate despite hardship. Corporate Social Responsibility towards employees, especially after a global pandemic is very important, the President urged.
The President assured the Federal Government will go the extra mile to provide assistance in achieving double-digit growth in large scale manufacturing, to encourage a rise in exports, to up-stick foreign investment, to achieve a feel-good increase in Stock Market Index, to reduce non-essential imports, and to emphasis on growing sectors like tourism and hospitality and developing sites which may encourage international tourists, including developing a Coastal Area which is beautiful, productive, and profitable. He acknowledged the immense progress in Informational Technology and digitization and ensured that the Government is ready to reorganize and overhaul the way the private sector does business.
President shared his opinion that the upsurge in industrial activity is a testimony to the improvement in the investment climate and it will rapidly gain momentum in the coming months. He highlighted the initiatives to make activities more transparent, more hassle-free, and more productive so that the red-tape, the lethargy, and the element of corruption to be immensely minimized. "I am profoundly happy that today, as per past practices, EFP is honoring top employers", the President addressed the event to show confidence in the credibility and zealous spirit of the EFP. He wished the apex body of employers the very best and encouraged the collective struggle to make our motherland prosperous.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021