Punjab Labour Dept facilitating trade, industry: Secretary

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Staff Reporter

Lahore

Punjab Labour Secretary Muhammad Aamir Jan said on Saturday that progress and prosperity of the business community means development of the country; therefore, the Punjab Labour Department was working as a facilitator and ensuring maximum facilities for trade and industry.
He was speaking here at Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, where LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad and DG Labour Faisal Nisar also spoke, while EC members Haris Attiq and Arshad Khan were present.
The secretary said that policies for labour had been made with a vision to ensure gainfully employed and satisfied labour force so that they could optimally contribute to the national growth.
He said that promotion of healthy labour management and industrial relations for greater socioeconomic progress and development was prime task of the Labour Department as labour force had a fundamental role in industrial development. He said that the role and cooperation of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry was crucial in that regard.
Muhammad Aamir Jan said Punjab Employees Social Security Institution (PESSI) collects Rs 1.3 to 1.4 billion while 1.1 million workers are registered with the Labour Department.
Faisal Nisar gave a detailed presentation on Punjab Occupational Health and Safety Act-19.
LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that trust building between business community and government departments would make the things smoother. He said that outbreak of COVID-19 forced the businesspeople to improvise so that business activities could somehow continue to revive. For that matter, the public departments must cooperate with private sector.
He said that frequency of tax payments of various labour taxes should be reduced to once a year. Currently, the frequency of tax payments of the EOBI and PESSI was 12 times a year while the frequency of WWF and WPPF was once a year.“To reduce cost of labour and its transportation and enhance competitiveness of our industry, the industrial units should be allowed to utilise 10 per cent of their land for establishing their own labour colonies. The government should also take the initiative of establishing labor colonies in partnership with private sector through a proper public private partnership arrangement,” the LCCI president added.
He said that the current labour laws (under Punjab Industrial Relations Act 2010) allow 25 per cent of trade union members to be outsiders (those who are not actually employed as labourers in the particular establishment). This law should be reviewed as external involvement in trade union activities results in exploitation of labour force and in certain cases, creates law and order problems.
The LCCI president also called for improvement in online system of the Labour Department.

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