President signs employees reinstatement bill into law

ISLAMABAD, Dec 6 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari signed into law the Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Bill 2010 during a special ceremony held here at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Monday.The signing ceremony was attended among others by federal ministers, members of parliament, federal secretaries and representatives of reinstated employees.The bill was passed by National Assembly on October 7 and Senate on 10 November. Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the President said he is pleased to have signed the bill and congratulated all the workers who have thus been reinstated in their jobs through an act of the parliament. He also felicitated parliament for passing the law and also the Minister for Labour and Manpower and all those who made it possible.

The President said, “it is an auspicious day for all of us as today we have fulfilled yet another promise and commitment made by our Shaheed leader and the government with the workers.”

He said worker and labour is the backbone of the country’s economy and Pakistan Peoples Party and that is why from the day of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, PPP has kept welfare of workers and labourers uppermost in its mind.
He said Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had promised the sacked employees of different organizations that they would be reinstated into their jobs.

“The critics of the present government sometimes accuse it of not providing jobs to the people. Yes, the job market has shrunk due to worldwide economic slow down and recession. But I ask the critics, is the reinstatement of thousands of sacked employees not giving them jobs?,” he said and added that he was very pleased to do it.

While commenting on various measures being undertaken by the government for economic revival, he said the improvement of economic condition requires collective effort of all.

He expressed the hope that policies adopted by the government would help improve economy and at the same time improve the condition of workers.
He said election manifesto of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) aimed at protection of rights of workers and creation of maximum job opportunities for the people.

Security of job is the most significant motivating factor for employees who work hard for economic development and social progress of the country, he observed.

“The act signed today aims at providing relief to the politically victimized workers. It will benefit those appointed in a government department or in an autonomous body during the period from November 1, 1993 to November 30, 1996 and were dismissed during the period from  November 1, 1996 to  October 12, 1999.”

The President reiterated the PPP led government would continue to work for the welfare of the poor and the workers.

The President mentioned the various steps taken by the government for the welfare of the workers and said that through Benazir Employees Stock Option Scheme, 12% stock shares will be offered to workers of the public sector organizations.  More than 500,000 employees of 80 public organizations will benefit from it by becoming shareholders in organizations, he added.

“We believe in economic progress by giving incentives,” he said.
President Zardari said the Benazir Employees Stock Option Scheme is aimed at giving incentives to workers to work more and produce more.

“It is both a scheme to improve the worker welfare as well as the economy. It is aimed at making both the workers and employers as partners in the economic development of the country.”

The President said the country is confronted with numerous challenges which can only be met with the collective efforts of all of them.

He called upon all political forces and the people to join hands in meeting the challenges that lie ahead.

The President said the government has also decided to distribute free of charge state lands among the poor women in the command areas of the new dams that are being built in the country.

These women will be provided easy credit to cultivate these lands, he said and expressed the hope that the initiative will bring women of the country in the loop of development.

The Benazir Income Support Programme is yet another initiative of the government to alleviate poverty and also to empower the women, the President said and added, “we will continue our forward march”.

The President thanked members of federal cabinet and parliament for passage of the bill.

He vowed to protect rights of the workers and said PPP was struggling for providing basic facilities to people according to the philosophy of Shaheed Zulfikar Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

The workers and leaders of PPP gave sacrifices and Benazir Bhutto offered her blood to pave way for 18th constitutional amendment and steps like NFC award, he added.

He said the party slogan of “roti, kapra and makan” is still relevant.
The President said he is following the philosophy of the Shaheed leaders by giving shares to workers in industrial units.

Zardari said if the previous PPP governments would have been allowed to complete their term, the country would not have faced issues of price hike and unemployment.

The government realises that people are facing difficulties due to soaring prices but they should be patient as things will improve.

He said besides taking steps for welfare of workers, the government will encourage investment.

The privatization programme will go ahead and power supply companies would be given in private hands, he added.

The President said representatives of workers will be given seats in boards of industries like Pakistan Steel Mills to raise issues of workers.

Federal Minister for Labour Syed Khurshid Shah and In charge PPP Labour Bureau Ch. Manzoor Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.

They said the credit goes to the government for ending anti-worker laws made by the previous regimes to throw out thousands of workers.

They said the government confirmed 150,000 workers in PIA, Wapda, Steel Mills, KPT and other departments giving them security of jobs.

Khurshid Shah said out of 12,000 sacked employees, 7,000 were reinstated and the remaining sacked workers could still apply to get their jobs back – APP