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KARACHI: Secretary Labour & Human Resources Department Sindh Laeeq Ahmed has directed the Commissioner SESSI to immediately halt multiple audits in a year and allow adjustment of Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (SESSI) contributions paid @ 25,000/- minimum wage and the other contribution made @ 17,500/- without any penalties.

He also announced to re-activate SESSI Helpdesk in the premises of the SITE Association. Addressing members of SITE Association of Industry, he said that there are various flaws in labour laws which will be discussed in future tripartite meetings. A checklist for inspections is also being prepared.

To a query, he informed that workers welfare funds (WWF) is being spent on land & flats, educational institutes, dowry grant and death grant.

“One window operation of various labour departments is being worked out including doing away with physical audits by various individual institutions and relying on one audit to be sufficient for all. For this purpose, ILO has been requested for a study, following which, work will be initiated on revamping of the entire system, he added.

Secretary Labour welcomed the proposal from e-President SITE Association Younus Bashir to adopt SESSI Valika Hospital and requested a detailed proposal and stated that an independent board on the basis of public-private partnership should see the affairs of the hospital.

Younus Bashir also requested the Secretary Labour to look into the matters of audit notices.

SVP Saud Mahmood suggested allowing emergency treatment of SESSI insured persons in a private hospital to which Secretary Labour assured to look into the matter.

On this occasion, Commissioner SESSI Ashgar Ali Ghanghro informed the members that ‘Mazdoor Card’ is a machine-readable smart card. “We have different private hospitals on board where patients are referred and SESSI pays for the expenses incurred. We are also working on improving SESSI Valika Hospital. For this purpose, MCPS doctors are being hired and only multinational companies’ medicines will be provided to patients.”

President SITE Association of Industry, Abdul Rasheed welcomed the guests from the labour department and highlighted the issues related to Labour Courts.

He said that labour court matters are creating problems for industries which should be looked into. He also asked to share details of the Mazdoor Card with the Association.

Abdul Kadir Bilwani, Chairman of Labour Sub-Committee briefed the Secretary Labour about the labour related matters which included re-activation of SESSI Helpdesk, multiple inspections & audits, minimum wage contribution, one-window operation, Benazir Mazdoor Card, Workman compensation department and Valika Hospital’s matters. He requested the Secretary Labour to share the data of registered workers and their contribution for the information of the Association.

Majyd Aziz, former president requested the Secretary Labour to induct a representative of SITE Association of Industry in the STEVTA Board as the association represents the oldest & largest industrial zone of Pakistan.

Speaking about reconstitution of various boards, he suggested taking nominations from EFP and PWF, both of which are on ILO record and are genuine representatives of employers and workers. He remarked that during a foreign country visit, it transpired that factory owners called Labour Inspectors for inspection which was quite surprising for us, as in Pakistan, the situation is the other way round.

Abdul Hadi, immediate past President of SITE Association appreciated the efforts & cooperation of Secretary Labour for being instrumental in his previous assignment in the setting up of SITE Association Fire Station and tree plantation in SITE.

He questioned about the formulation to set recovery target which was duly replied by the Secretary Labour. Immediate past SVP Riazuddin requested to call a Minimum Wage Board meeting as per Supreme Court orders.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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