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Cabinet okays bill for home-based workers’ welfare

By Our Correspondent
May 09, 2018

The Sindh cabinet has approved several bills, including the Sindh Home-based Workers Act 2018, and referred them to the provincial assembly for voting.

The approval for the proposed pieces of legislation came at a meeting of the cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah the new Sindh Secretariat on Tuesday.

The draft of the Sindh Home-based Workers Act 2018 syas that the home -based workforce of the province is workers working on a piece-rate payment system involved in manufacturing and post-manufacturing processes such as garment and hosiery, shoe-making, embroidery, carpet- weaving, handlooms, woodwork, bangle-making, dates’ cleaning and packing, pottery and handicrafts.

The chief minister said his government believed that the provincial policy on home-based workers (HBWs) was inspired by the vision of egalitarian society, which was free of exploitation and coercion and where all citizens were equal before the law and enjoy equal rights to live with dignity and self-respect.

The draft of the proposed law says that every registered home-based worker will be entitled to social protection, medical benefits, grants and other privileges as available to a person falling within the meaning of a worker or a workman as envisaged in the Sindh Industrial Act, 2013.

It envisages a survey of the workplace for identifying and removing any hazardous conditions the labourers are faced with.

SEPC establishment

The cabinet also approved the establishment of a 47-member Sindh Environmental Protection Council headed by the environment minister.

The secretaries of all the departments concerned, divisional commissioners, the dean, faculty of plant protection of the Agriculture University Tando Jam and two nominated MPAs will be its members.

The functions of the council include giving approval to comprehensive provincial environmental and sustainable development policies and ensuring their implementation within the framework of a conservation strategy and sustainable development plan.

The cabinet also approved the establishment of different committee such as industries and agriculture under the new council.

The cabinet on the recommendation of the chief justice of the Sindh high Court appointed Justice (retired) Sadiq Hussain Bhatti as chairman of the Sindh Environmental Protection Tribunal for a period of four years. It also green-lit the appointment of two members of the tribunal, Abdul Rauf Memon, deputy director (Tech) B-18, and Advocate Mohammad Arif as member legal.

Also okayed by the cabinet was the draft of the Sindh Industries Registration Act-2018. The silent features of the act include registration/de-registration of industrial undertakings, surveys/inspections of industries, powers to solicit industrial information in public interest or order any survey or inspection, and monitoring industrial waste and pre-treatment of effluents.

The cabinet was informed that the ICRC (International Committee of Red Cross) organised a consultative session at SZABIST to discuss amendments in the Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1965.

The discussion took into consideration delays in the shifting of patients through ambulances due to traffic congestion. The provisions of the Motor Vehicles Rules were scrutinised for proposing the desired amendments.

The proposed amendments were made to provide the definition of ambulance in the Motor Vehicles Ordinance. This definition states: “The ambulance means a vehicle designed or adopted primarily for the purpose for carriage of sick, wounded or invalid persons or animals and registered as such with the health authority.”

An emergency vehicle has been defined as a motor vehicle used only as a law enforcement vehicle, fire brigade or ambulance to relieve distress. A new word ‘obstruction’ has been added to the amendments, which means any action by a person, vehicle or otherwise that would hamper, hinder or impede the progress of another vehicle.

In this way, Section 82-A of the law has been amended as “duty to make way for emergency vehicle”.

It means the driver of a vehicle or any other person, to the extent practicable, will slow down, move to the left or otherwise, make all possible efforts to give a clear uninterrupted and safe passage to an emergency rescue vehicle or an ambulance with active warning lights and a siren.

ZU board creation

The cabinet in its meeting on December 11, 2017, had reached some consensus that there should be some essential requirements for the creation of Ziauddin University Board of Higher Secondary Education.

The cabinet approved organisational, legal, financial and other related formalities and requirements, including the submission of a feasibility report, outlined in the general institutional requirements.

These guidelines pertain to the registration and availability of infrastructure and adequate financial resources, examination staff, examination criteria, affiliation criteria, fee structure, quality assurance, student supervision, assessment, etc.

Vet doctors

The assembly has passed the bill for the regularisation of veterinary doctors and sent it to the governor for his assent.

The governor has made some observations to revisit the bill and ensure that upon regularisation, the veterinary doctors are not transferred from their initial place of appointments till the position on which they are working is dully filled by another veterinary doctor. The cabinet made necessary amendments in the bill and again referred it to the assembly.

LBOD employees

It also discussed the draft of the Sindh Regularisation of Contract Paid & Work Charged LBOD employees Act, 2018. Under the proposed law, the services of 2,601 employees of the Left Bank Outfall Drain project would be regularised. The cabinet approved the draft and referred it to the assembly.

The health department presented a draft bill to the cabinet for the regularisation of doctors and other para-medical staff appointed on a contract basis.

The cabinet formed a committee under Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro with the health secretary and the law secretary as its members with the directions to hold a meeting and go through clauses of the draft bill so that doctors and other staff could be regularised.

The cabinet on the recommendation of the chief justice of the SHC offered the appointment of advocate Imran Malik as judge of Anti-Terrorism Court Khairpur, which is lying vacant. It allowed Manzoor Ahmed Qazi, ATC judge in Naushehroferoze, to complete his term.