KARACHI: Pakistan will have to adopt International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Better Work Programme (BWP) at work-places and industrial units to maintain its export share in the world market.

Certain administrative and legislative frameworks are required to be put in place before the BWP is initiated.

This was stated by Secretary Human Resource Development and Overseas Pakistanis Munir Qureshi at a briefing given by him before representatives of various textile bodies at Aptma House here on Monday.

He informed that the Walt Disney Corporation, which has a worldwide governance ranking, has already given a cut off date of March 8, 2014, to Pakistan for becoming compliant and feared that if we don’t adhere, other buyers may also follow the suite.

The secretary estimated that in case Disney stops buying from Pakistan, it would have a loss of around $150 million in exports.

Mr Qureshi said perhaps Baldia Town factory incident and collapse of industrial building in Bangladesh has drawn the attention of leading world buyers who have become more conscious about compliances at work-places.

He said many industrial units may be having all sorts of compliances in place but after getting BWP certifications from the ILO, the question of any deficien-cy or shortcoming will not arise and the industrial units will stay qualified for exports.

Munir Qureshi said that the cut off date for ILO’s convention on Better Work Program (BWP) is January 2016, and by that time all countries should become compliant, therefore, Pakistan will have to rush for meeting this deadline.

He disclosed that recently he met ILO director-general at Geneva. I was asked by the ILO official that Pakistan should immediately apply for the BWP compliance because there is a queue and Bangladesh and Thailand have already registered themselves, and the former is about to start the programme.

Since Bangladesh has already initiated the BWP compliance programme, it becomes more important for Pakistani exporters and industrialists to get the certification at the earliest because we are in direct competition with each other in the world market.

He said that the funding for the program will be sponsored by the world donors, like International Finance Corporation (IFC), but still there would be shortfall and for this private sector will have to come forward and meet the shortfall.

Qureshi urged industry leaders to have their representation at ILO because it is the only world body which has tripartite representation from government side, employers and employees.

He said after the death of Ashraf Tabani Pakistan has no representative at ILO.

Earlier Aptma (Sindh-Balochistan) chairman Tariq Saud appreciated the government initiative for introducing the culture of BWP in Pakistan.

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