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LAHORE: The European Union’s Monitoring Mission, which had arrived in Pakistan to see its eligibility for GSP Plus extension, on Friday reviewed the steps taken by the Punjab government in nine priority areas including human rights, child labour, labour rights and environment protection.

During a meeting at the Civil Secretariat, Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal briefed the mission about the initiatives taken by the provincial government in the priority areas. He said Pakistan attaches great importance to its partnership with the European Union. He said the GSP Plus status is very beneficial for the economy of Pakistan and after getting the GSP Plus status in 2014, Pakistani products got easy access to European markets.

The Chief Secretary mentioned the federal and provincial governments are ensuring the enforcement of relevant laws in connection with the implementation of international conventions, and reforms are underway in the areas of human rights, labour rights, environment and others.

He further said modern system has been devised for labour inspections using information technology. He said concrete steps are being taken to eradicate child labour and child labour survey has been completed in Punjab.

The Chief Secretary also apprised the mission of the special initiatives being taken for human and minorities’ rights, empowerment of women, and social welfare.

The efforts of the Punjab government in implementing the international conventions were lauded by the visiting mission comprising officials from the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade and for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. The additional chief secretary (home), administrative secretaries of relevant departments including human rights, labour, and environment also attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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