Friday August 12, 2022

GSP Plus extension: EU team reviews steps taken in nine priority areas

By Our Correspondent
June 25, 2022

LAHORE:The European Union's Monitoring Mission Friday reviewed steps taken by the Punjab government in nine priority areas in terms of GSP Plus extension.

The EU team had arrived in Pakistan to see its eligibility for GSP Plus extension and reviewed steps of the provincial government in human rights, child labour, labour rights, environment protection and other fields.

During a meeting at the Civil Secretariat, Punjab Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal briefed the mission on the initiatives taken by the government in the priority areas. He said Pakistan attached great importance to its partnership with the EU. He said the GSP Plus status was very beneficial to the economy of Pakistan and after getting the GSP Plus status in 2014, Pakistani products got easy access to European markets. The CS mentioned the federal and provincial governments were ensuring the enforcement of relevant laws in connection with the implementation of international conventions, and reforms were underway in the areas

of human rights, labour rights, environment and others.

He said modern system had been devised for labour inspections using information technology. He said concrete steps were being taken to eradicate child labour and child labour survey had been completed in Punjab. IG Police Punjab Rao Sardar Ali Khan said there was a zero tolerance policy regarding torture of accused in police custody.

He said help was sought from Punjab Forensic Science Agency for investigation of cases on scientific lines. The CS also apprised the Mission of the special initiatives being taken for human and minorities’ right, empowerment of women, and social welfare. The efforts of the Punjab government in implementing the international conventions were lauded by the visiting mission comprising officials from the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade and for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

The Additional Chief Secretary (home), administrative secretaries of relevant departments, including human rights, labour, and environment also attended the meeting.