Karachi: Anomalies in labour laws on their adoption in the provinces after the 18th Constitutional amendment have created more barriers and bottlenecks in the operation of business particularly in the case of establishments operating in more than one province which instead of promoting efficiency and productivity will act as a disincentive for attracting foreign direct investment in Pakistan.
This came as a consensus view in the Stakeholders Consultative meeting organized at the EFP Secretariat at Karachi by the Employers Federation of Pakistan in collaboration with the International Labour Organization.
The event was also a media launch of EFP’s Position Paper based on a Research Study on “Development of Industrial Relations and Labour Laws: an Impact Overview” which comprehensively covered the constitutional rights of business and work, country commitment to international labour standards through ratified ILO Conventions, the six national labour policies and the resulting labour legislation classified in nine phases from the point of independence to the devolution of the subject of Labour to the provinces after the 18th Constitutional amendment and the findings of an EFP survey on the impact of industrial relations and labour laws on organizational management and effectiveness. The Position paper also identified the anomalies introduced in the labour laws through their adoption in the provinces and the decisions of the superior courts on the laws relating to trans provincial applications.
Ms. Shirin Khan, the Acting ILO Country Director in her comments appreciated the EFP efforts in undertaking this first ever desk research activity on the subject and emphasized upon the need for more such stakeholders consultations which will promote social dialogue on issues confronting the industry and workers in order to develop a framework of guidelines for sustainable business through application of labour laws and standards and their implementation in order to avail the opportunities offered by GSP plus and global market economy.
Earlier, the EFP President Khawaja Muhammad Nauman in his welcome address expressed his concern on barriers in the way of industrial growth and urged the stakeholders including academia to study and research into reasons why Pakistan was not able to pick up the desired pace of growth in spite of having the most exhaustive labour law framework.
Mr. Aasim Tiwana, Director Policy, Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan, speaking on the occasion stressed on the need for promoting commercial governance through labour law application and supporting measures by the stakeholders which alone can help Pakistan in achieving its dream of industrial progress.
The meeting which was largely attended by a wide range of stakeholders was also addressed by Mr. Akber Adil Shah, Deputy Director General, EOABI, Mr. Saghir Bokhari, Program Officer ILO, Dr. Mustafa Suhaq, Director Labour, Sindh, Mr. Gulfam Memon, Joint Director, Labour, Sindh, Mr. Ahsanullah Khan , President ,Global Compact Network Pakistan, Mr. Parvez Rahim of Agha Khan University Hospital, Mr. Siddiq of Otsuka Pakistan and Mr. Fasihul Karim Siddiqi, Secretary General, EFP.