Labour,wage earners are pillar of strength for PPP: Zarda

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday that labour, wage earners and workers were not only the backbone of national economy but also a pillar of strength for the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).“We aim at strengthening national economy by strengthening and empowering the workers by making them stakeholders in state-run enterprises,” he said while speaking to Peoples Labour Bureau Punjab at Aiwan-e- Sadr.Briefing journalists about the meeting, Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that the President, who is also PPP Co-Chairman, said that founder Chairman of the party Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave voice to the labour, the worker and the peasant that could no longer be stifled.
Despotic rulers had tried to stifle their voice but the PPP on coming into power lifted restrictions on trade unions and restored to the labour their voice, the President said.
The President said that the present government had given 12 percent shares to the workers in the state-run enterprises and decided to give state lands free of cost to the poor women in the command areas of new dams that will be built in the country.More than five lac labour and workers will benefit from the Benazir Employees Option Scheme to make them share holders in industrial enterprises, he added.The President said that the poorest of the poor had been provided a social security net through the vehicle of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and over three million poor families had already been registered under the programme in a most transparent manner that has earned appreciation of the international community.
The President said that black laws with anti-labour clauses that militated against the workers had been changed and the basic right of workers restored and now workers could no longer be sacked in an arbitrary manner.The spokesperson quoted the President as saying “wages and pension for workers had been increased, special provisions had been made for their insurance and grants will be made on the marriages of their daughters.”The President said that no government in Pakistan could claim to have done so much for the workers and peasants as had been done by the PPP government and asked the workers to redouble their efforts to strengthen national economy.
The President said that despite various challenges and hurdles in its way the government had waded through difficulties successfully and achieved significant achievements on political and economic fronts as well as on the fronts of fight against militancy.
The spokesperson said that the President while commenting on the achievements of the government during the last two and half years listed the unanimous approval of the 18th constitutional amendment, the National Finance Commission award, granting of more autonomy to the provinces, Aghaz-e- Haqooq-e-Balochistan, giving rights to people of Gilgit-Baltistan, poverty alleviation through BISP, reinstatement of the sacked workers, regularization of contract labour, giving 12 percent shares in state-run enterprises to the workers, plans to give state lands free of cost to poor women in the command areas and the new dams as the major achievements of the democratic government.
The PPP-led government would continue its forward march on the path of progress and development and reiterated pledge to lift the poor and destitute of the country from generational poverty trap through the BISP and other initiatives.The President said the PPP which believed in democracy had rendered numerous sacrifices for the cause of democracy and would continue to strive for protecting and further strengthening of democratic institutions in the country.
The President said,”the PPP being the major political party in the country has deep roots among the masses and the government would continue to pursue labour friendly policy for their uplift and betterment – App