Labourers work at a brick kiln near Lahore.
Labourers work at a brick kiln near Lahore. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has announced an increase in the minimum wage for labourers. – Photo by Online

ISLAMABAD: The minimum wage of workers in Pakistan has been increased to eight thousand rupees, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced on Tuesday.

Additionally, the Employees’ Old-Age Benefit Institution pension has been increased to Rs 2,000 from Rs 1,500.

Gilani, addressing a Labour Day event at the Convention Centre in Islamabad, also also handed over ‘regular’ appointment letters to the employees of Capital Development Authority (CDA), Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

“Our democratic government is committed to bringing a socio-economic revolution in the country, as was envisioned by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” Gilani told the attendees.

In addition to the thousand-rupee wage increase, the death grant for labourers has also been increased from Rs 150,000 to Rs 500,000 and grant for labourers’ children’s weddings has been raised from Rs 70,000 to Rs 100,000.

Gilani also urged a prompt announcement of the Labour Policy 2012 and implementation of the Industrial Relations Act (IRA-2012).

“PPP is the party of labourers and workers. We have always worked for their rights but some elements did not like our love for the labour community,” the PM said.

Amid pro-PPP sloganeering, Gilani claimed that the PPP government has fulfilled 80 per cent of its promises.

“Restoration of labour rights, IRA-2012, Labour Appellate Tribunals, Labour Policy 2010, reinstatement of over 6,000 sacked government employees, right of appeal to government servants in labour courts are the big achievements of our government,” the PM boasted.

Gilani also announced the construction of 12,000 houses, seven schools, seven industrial homes and four community centres for the labour community.

“Our democratic government made workers shareholders in for the first time in the country’s history and distributed shares worth Rs. 100 billion among half a million workers,” the under-fire PM told the convention.

Steps such as nomination of workers in the Board of Directors of the institutions will empower the working classes.

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