Privatization policy in Pakistan termed anti-people

December 4, 2015 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: The trade union leaders, economists and human rights activists at conclusion of two-day National Labour Conference organized by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) here on Saturday rejected the privatization policy as none of the benefits that were mentioned to justify it has been achieved, instead, it has increased unemployment, adversely affected the tax collection and contributed to below-par performance.

A set of demands read out by I. A Rehamn, HRCP Secretary General at the concluding session of the conference, specifically called for abandonment of the plan to privatize electricity generation and distribution companies, PIA and Steel Mills as their privatisation are against the country’s need for a strong and efficient public sector.

The conference demanded that land reforms should be carried out as a priority step to promote equality of citizens and social justice; all provinces, at the platform of Council of Common Interests (CCI) should make uniform labour legislations and policy for equal rights to male and female workers in all the provinces, the resolution read out.

The conference recommendations also demanded the government that bonded labour laws should be implemented. Provinces should adopt the bonded labour policies on progressive lines. Steps be taken to erase child labour from all sectors.

Universal social security scheme be launched in Pakistan. All workers should be provided social security facilities, especially in case of unemployment. Minimum wages for unskilled workers are inadequate to guarantee a decent living for an average family.

Unions also pointed out that Article 3 of the Constitution of Pakistan ensures elimination of all types of exploitation. All parts of the government must develop strategies for implementation of this article.

Effective measures be taken for provision of equal wages for both male and female workers the resolution said adding that women should be rewarded adequately for their labour.

The participants demanded that the government must regularly hold the Tripartite Labour Conferences. The government should resume formulating the Labour policy and the provinces should implement uniform laws and policies.

They underlined the need that an industrial union in the textile sector should be formed covering the entire textile chain, a minimum of one million workers should be mobilized to become member of the textile union all over the country, of them five thousand workers should be trained to work on shop floor.

The conference condemned in the strongest terms possible the campaign to malign Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER). “It is a serious attack on people’s rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association.

The participants called upon all the civil society organizations to constitute practical unity and express solidarity for the common interests.

In the second day main speakers included economists Dr. Pervaiz Tahir, Dr. Nadia Tahir and Haris Gazdar, senior journalist Babar Ayaz, Karamat Ali of PILER, singer Jawad Ahmed and others.