PESHAWAR: The labour department has asked the industrial units and factories across the province to enforce the minimum wage policy of awarding Rs15,000 to the workers till end of January.

Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday, Labour Department Secretary Khayam Hassan said that legal action would be initiated against all those, who failed to implement the government’s decision, after expiry of the deadline.

He said that directorate of labour conducted survey at more than 630 industrial units in the province and out of them nearly 306 had not complied with the order.

He said that in Haripur, owing to overburdening of banks, the process was a bit slow.

Official says action will be taken against violators after expiry of deadline

He said that in Kohat, big units had started enforcing the decision but the smaller ones were a bit reluctant to implement it.

Flanked by Labour Director Irfanullah Khan and other officials, Mr Hassan said that in Dera Ismail Khan, all major units had started the process to pay to their workers through banks.

In Mardan, Swabi, Peshawar, Nowshera, Bannu, Abbottabad, Swat and Buner, industrial units had not refused to comply with the order but they requested for some more time, he added.

The secretary said that labour directorate under the payment of wages law directed all the industrial units to pay wages to workers through banks. He said that every labourer would be given a minimum of Rs15,000 salary as per the government’s policy.

Mr Hassan that they had also held talks with the brick kiln owners to finalise draft of wages for brick kilns law.

He added that fine, in case of violation, under the law was just Rs5,000 so efforts were being made to increase it up to Rs50,000 along with six months imprisonment.

The official said that government had taken measures for protection of the rights of labourers, elimination of child labour and ensuring enrollment of out of schools children across the province.

In the next phase, he said, a policy would be devised to take action against the private companies, workshops and famous outlets over not implementing the minimum wage policy.

Regarding the reservations of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry over the possible action of directorate against the factory owners for violating the law, the official said that the chamber had been taken on board on the issue.

He said that they would take action against the violators at all costs.

About the salaries of the private schoolteachers, who reportedly were paid even less than a labourer, he said that they were making a different mechanism for it as they did not want to treat schoolteachers as labourers.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2017

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