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Thursday May 30, 2024

Summary sent to chief minister to establish social security courts, SHC told

By Jamal Khurshid
April 02, 2023

Observing that the compliance report filed by the Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (Sessi) commissioner was not clear, the Sindh High Court (SHC) has recently directed him to satisfy the court about compliance with earlier court orders for implementation of social security laws.

The direction came on a petition with regard to implementation of various provisions of social security laws. The high court had directed the provincial government to establish social security courts and recover the outstanding arrears of Rs557 million from employer institutions of the province.

Filing the compliance report, the Sessi commissioner submitted that the labour secretary had moved a summary to the chief minister for establishment of the social security courts.

Regarding recovery of arrears and registration of workers, the Sessi commissioner submitted that the institution was facing acute shortage of staff and a committee report on the matter was still being finalised.

He submitted that the registration of secured workers through a computerised system had been started and 26,000 cards had been received from the National Database and Registration Authority.

He submitted that a Sessi committee had approved proposals for placement of investment in different stock companies for unlimited tenure without any justification.

He submitted that investment was made in stock market with the recommendation of then investment committee however at present the share value of the financial institution in which department had invested its Rs410 million capital was on a decline trend and the institution was not in a position to withdraw its invested amount in loss and as soon as the stock of the share went up, the amount would be withdrawn.

He submitted that Sessi was gathering information and material to submit a report in respect of final compliance with the court order and sought further time.

A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto directed the Sessi commissioner to appear before court on April 20 and satisfy the court with regard to compliance with court orders.

It is pertinent to mention that the SHC had on October 7, 2021, directed Sessi to ensure physical verification of all the establishments falling within its territorial jurisdiction and ensure registration of employees.

The high court had directed Sessi to work for the registration of domestic workers under the Sindh Home-Based Workers Act 2018 for which necessary publications shall be issued to inform the domestic workers about their rights in case they had registered themselves under the law.

The high court had observed that admittedly, a less number of workers were registered with Sessi and the Sindh Workers Welfare Board. The bench had directed all the deputy commissioners to provide help to Sessi officers to ensure that every worker was registered with the institution.

The bench had also directed Sessi to introduce digital modes for registration of workers enabling employees and self-employed workers to fill the required forms for issuance of social security registration cards.