The Punjab government has launched Mazdoor Card to facilitate laborers across the most populous province. Reports in local media said 1.2 million laborers and 6.8 million heirs registered with the Punjab Social Security department will be benefited from the latest initiative.
The laborers can use this card as a debit card and identity code as it aimed to ensure timely payment of financial benefits. Besides the payment withdrawal, workers can receive health facilities using a Mazdoor card as it will be accepted at hospitals and dispensaries of the Social Security Institute as well as enlisted medical facilities across Punjab. Nabeel Javed, Secretary of Labour & Human Resource Punjab said:
“Mazdoor Card has been launched in collaboration with Bank of Punjab to facilitate the secured industrial workers in the prevailing inflation while its ambit would also be further enhanced to provide them subsidized food items in addition to linking them with the microfinance scheme of Akhuwat”,
Addressing the business community in the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI), he said that steps are also underway to streamline the provision of medical and education facilities to the worker’s families and children.
Nabeel mentioned that system was also upgraded to ensure immediate payment of death, marriage, and education grants. He said that the government was also contemplating providing higher education to the worker’s children in prestigious institutions in the country.
He said that the collection of contributions from the Punjab Employees Social Security Institution (PESSI) and Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) has been entrusted to the Punjab Revenue Authority.
“It would not only help to check pilferage and evasion of contribution but also enable the Labour department to extend maximum facilities to the workers”,
Secretary Labour also announced the formation of consultative committees of FCCI and concerned departments to check alleged harassment of small factory owners in addition to redressing complaints regarding the maladministration of PESSI and WWF.
He further said that the minutes of the meeting would be shared with the FCCI to resolve the industrialists’ problems according to the ground reality. He also assured to notify the committees and give representation to FCCI in the BoGs of PESSI and WWF on a top priority basis.
Earlier, Dr. Sajjad Arshad, Senior Vice President introduced Faisalabad and FCCI and said that 8,000 members belonging to 128 different trades are affiliated with this elected trade body of Faisalabad.
He was critical of the global meltdown and political uncertainty and said that industries are facing the brunt of the crisis with minimum layoffs of workers. He said that the continuity of this situation may further enhance unemployment and trigger lawlessness in the country.
He said that major industrial units are working with only 40% of their installed capacity while 70% of power looms and SME units have been closed down rendering seven lac workers jobless. He said that in this crisis, the government must take care of the workers by providing them with subsidized ration and other fringe benefits.
He also expressed concern over the misuse of surveys and audits despite the worst situation and said that many units are still retaining their workforce and hence departments should also show flexibility in this connection.