Senate panel to discuss end of job quota for special persons

Published June 7, 2020
Rights activists have been protesting over government’s move to abolish two per cent job quota for disabled people. — Dawn/File
Rights activists have been protesting over government’s move to abolish two per cent job quota for disabled people. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights, in its meeting on June 9, will receive a briefing from the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) on the government’s decision to abolish two per cent job quota for disabled persons in companies.

Besides this, according to the agenda issued by the Senate Secretariat, is set to receive a briefing in the same meeting from the chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on “regulations and guidelines for universities and academic activities in the post-Covid time”.

The committee is headed by Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar.

Rights activists in the country have been protesting over the government’s move to abolish two per cent job quota for disabled people in companies and calling for its reversal as they consider it a violation of the disabled persons’ right to employment.

The government promulgated an ordinance last month amending various sections of the Companies Act 2017 and deleted Section 459, which had ensured employment opportunities for people with disabilities by allocating a 2pc quota for them in public and private companies.

The ordinance was reportedly promulgated to clear individuals who had entered into plea bargains with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for appointments as directors in various companies.

There are nearly 33 million disabled persons in the country and only 10 per cent of them are able to enroll in any special education institution and only one per cent of them succeed in reaching any university. Moreover, it is said that only a few are able to find any job as the job quota law is never implemented in letter and spirit.

The SECP, through a press release issued after promulgation of the ordinance, had stated that the president had approved amendments to the Companies Act 2017 in order to provide an enabling regulatory framework to facilitate startups in the country.

According to the statement, these amendments were proposed by the SECP to help “promote and nurture startups” while also attracting local and international innovators.

The Companies Act 2017 was reviewed by the SECP in consultation with various external and internal stakeholders.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2020

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