All Labor Laws & Regulations Should Come Under Single Window

Karachi (PR): Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has demanded that all labor and industrial relations-related laws & regulations should come under a single window to facilitate the employers and employees alike; and, enhance the compliance with the laws & generate better revenue streams for Employees Old Age Benefits Institute (EOBI) and Worker’s Welfare Fund (WWF). He was speaking on the occasion of high-profile visit of Provincial Minister Sindh for Labor and Human Resources to FPCCI Head Office.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh reiterated his stance that reforms is the key to the economic & commercial development of the country; and, labor laws should be streamlined, simplified, updated and anomalies should be taken out to encourage all businesses to enroll under EOBI. He added that, being the apex body, FPCCI encourages all its members to register & fulfill the requirements of EOBI & WWF.

Mr. Suleman Chawla, SVP FPCCI, apprised the session that Pakistan needs to reform its labor laws to retain the status of GSP+ or even attain an even higher status, i.e. GSP++ or GSP 2.0. He, however, maintained that the federal & provincial governments should incentivize the compliance with EOBI, WWF and other labor levies as the business, industry and trade is already under tremendous pressure due to the abysmal ranking of Pakistan in ease of doing business (EODB) and cost of doing business (CODB) indices.

Engr. M. A. Jabbar, VP FPCCI, noted that voluntary compliance with EOBI can increase if there is single levy. He added that Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (SESSI) has not delivered on its promises as workers do not get proper healthcare services at their hospitals.

Mr. Shabbir Mansha, VP FPCCI, proposed that ministry of labor & FPCCI should set up a liaison committee to sort out all pending matters in an alternative resolution mechanism. He also highlighted the need to bring all labor-related regulatory bodies under one window and one registration should be enough for all the regulations & levies.

Mr. Fareed Mahmood Ghani, Convener of FPCCI’s Advisory Council on Industrial Relations & Labor Laws, informed that there has been an enhanced awareness among the employers pertaining to labor-related regulations; and, the testimony of it lies in the fact that in less than 6 months since its formation, FPCCI Advisory Council on the same has gained 90 plus members; and, these members represent varied sectors and important companies.

Mr. Saeed Ghani, Provincial Minister Sindh for Labor & Human Resources, said that his government is pro-poor & pro-worker; but, at the same time, they understand the importance of business community as the business community can only keep their workers continually employed, well-paid and protected, if they are running their businesses profitably.

Mr. Saeed Ghani demanded that the institution of EOBI should be effectively & categorically devolved to provinces; so that, the Government of Sindh can take care of its working-class efficiently and without any interference. He also admitted the need to upgrade hospitals under SESSI with modern equipment, infrastructure and senior doctors.

Mr. Saeed Ghani expressed his desire to frequently visit FPCCI as his focal point for better liaison with the business community. He also welcomed the proposal to form the liaison committee between FPCCI & his ministry.

Brig Iftikhar Opel, SI (M), Retd.

Secretary General