“The government’s job is not only to maintain a good balance sheet but also work for the welfare of the people,” Zardari
Staff Reporter Daily Times March 06, 2010
President says govt has handed over 10% shares of state-owned entities to employees for free
KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday signed two laws passed by parliament to repeal the Removal from Services (Special Powers) Ordinance, 2000 and amend the Services Tribunal Act.
The president signed the bills at a ceremony held at the Sindh chief minister’s house.
According to an official statement, Zardari said the government would preserve the rights of the working class while ensuring a conducive environment for business, setting the stage for another phase of prosperity and development in Pakistan.
Zardari said the laws were aimed at protecting the working class from exploitation and arbitrary termination from service. “The removal from services ordinance was a bad law as it conferred arbitrary powers on the authorities in violation of the workers’ fundamental rights,” he added.
Zardari said a “bad law” had been annulled and the authorities would not have arbitrary powers over the employees and labourers anymore.
He said Section 2A of the Services Tribunal Act, 1973 had deprived the workers of their right to take their disputes to the labour courts, the Labour Appellate Tribunal as well as the National Industrial Relations Commission.
He called upon all political forces to unite to improve the conditions for labourers and protect them from exploitation.
Zardari said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had a vision for the underdeveloped sections of society and secured rights for labourers and farmers. He said ZAB also gave the people the right to vote and ensured women’s emancipation.
“But slowly and gradually, anti-Pakistan, anti-people and anti-poor elements usurped the rights of the people,” he said, adding that change in the services tribunal law would restore those rights.
The president said Benazir Bhutto’s vision, her return to Pakistan and her martyrdom was a continuation of the philosophy of “Bhuttoism”, adding that Benazir raised her voice against the draconian labour laws.
He congratulated the prime minister, the labour minister and parliament for changing service laws. Zardari said Pakistan had to move ahead towards a new era in which labourers and farmers were made partners in agriculture and industry.
He said in line with the Pakistan People’s Party’s vision, the government had handed over 10 percent shares of state-owned entities, including the Oil and Gas Development Corporation Limited and Pakistan State Oil, to the employees for free as their inherent right.
“The government’s job is not only to maintain a good balance sheet but also work for the welfare of the people,” Zardari said.