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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Labour and Human Resources, Sindh, Saeed Ghani said that the Sindh government signed a contract with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) at the cost of Rs 1 billion to issue “Benazir Mazdoor Smart Card” for providing facilities including health, education, marriage, death and disability of more than 625,000 workers.

“Sindh government at initial stage has issued as many as 37,000 Benazir Mazdoor Cards to deserving labours to provide them solace from rampant inflation. At initial stage, we have registered 625,000 workers from industries but we will also register non-industrial, daily wages, wanderers, personal drivers of individuals as well as rickshaw or taxi drivers and other workers. Mobile van of NADRA would be sent to different industrial units for promptly issuing Mazdoor cards even on Saturday and Sunday. This project has been started with one billion rupees and 50 percent of it has been paid to the NADRA,” Ghani said while addressing a news conference flanked by Minister for Information, Sindh Sharjeel Inam Memon, Minister for Local Government, Sindh Syed Nasir Hussain Shah.

The minister said that for this purpose, the NADRA would recruit a total of 162 new skilled persons for carrying out the project and Mazdoor Cards would prove a bigger project from the existing Benazir Bhutto Income Support Programme’s such initiative. He said that various such other projects including Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI), Social Security, and other projects would be put under one umbrella. He said that the Sindh government has setup seven centers for the registration of workers. He said that the Sindh government has five big hospitals and 42 labs for providing health facilities to the workers.

Ghani said that the chief minister Sindh has been urged to convene the meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) as soon as possible. He said that a large number of labourers are working in Sindh province. “We will provide smart cards to the workers to ensure transparency and avoid any corruption. We handed over this project to NADRA and it would check the detail of any workers through the National Identity Card (NIC),” he said.

The minister said that today (Wednesday) met with Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Rights Sajid Turi, Ghani lamented the delay in the completion of devolution of the EOBI and the Workers Welfare Fund to the provinces.

He said that after 18th amendment, the Federal Labour Department was devolved to the provinces. However, the devolution of the EOBI and the Worker Welfare Fund is still underway, he said. He said that Sindh has taken a lead in creating a framework for provincial labour departments and provincial counterparts of the EOBI and Workers Welfare Fund are already established.

Answering a question, the minister said that the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) is for those people that do not any source of income, while the Benazir Mazdoor Smart Cardis for those workers who have low income and they cannot afford health, education and other facilities for their family.

Minister for Information Sindh Sharjeel Memon said that it was in principle stance of the government of Sindh to improve the health facilities in provincial hospitals, so every person would get better health facilities.

Answering a question, he said that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is ready for participating in free and fair general elections but before polls, electoral reforms should do in consensus with all the democratic forces.

Sharjeel Memon claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had inked some agreements and could not fulfil the conditions of these agreements. He said that the PTI government had left Sri Lankan model of government in the country.

He said the present government would have to take tough decisions. He said that the no confidence motion was an integral part of the democratic process and following the verdict of the apex court, the no confidence motion would not succeed against the prime minister in future. He said that the PPP respects the decision of the apex court but members should have the right to vote.

The minister urged the federal government to file a review petition against the decision of the apex court, adding that there should be no constitutional crises after the decision.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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