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Labour Day message: PM Shehbaz hails workers as central to economic growth

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  • PM says Labour Day symbolises sanctity, dignity of labour.
  • Reaffirms govt’s commitment to improving living conditions of workers.
  • President Alvi highlights need to provide labourers with modern skill sets.

As the world marks Labour Day today (Monday), Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has highlighted the workers’ pivotal role in economic development, in his message on the occasion.

“The day symbolises the sanctity and dignity of labour, and at the same time, it was an acknowledgment of the importance of workers and labourers for being central to the economic growth of the country,”
a press release issued by the media wing of PM Office quoted the premier as saying. 

Labour Day, also known as May Day is observed around the world on May 1 every year to express solidarity and honour the rights of the labour class. The day celebrates the work and achievements of labourers across the globe and initiate steps for the provision of job protection to them against any exploitation.

In his message on Labour Day, PM Shehbaz Sharif reaffirmed the government’s commitment to improving the working and living conditions of workers and to supplementing their welfare through the provision of better housing, education facilities and health cover for them and their families.

The present government was committed to ensuring the benefits of economic progress translated into prosperity for all sections of the population, particularly the labourers and workers, he said.

PM Shehbaz further stated that international workers’ day reminds us of the sacrifices of the workers who laid down their lives while waging a relentless struggle for their rights.

“Our great religion, Islam, emphasises the principles of social justice, equity and respect for the rights of the people. Allah Almighty and the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) have ordered us to fulfill the rights of the workers and not be lax in the performance of this core duty,” the premier was quoted saying.

He said they found numerous inspiring examples of the dignity of labourers and respect for the rights of the working class in the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Keeping in view the high inflation rates and other economic challenges, PM Shehbaz said that the government had increased the minimum wages of workers from Rs17,500 to Rs25,000 per month.

He further stated that the government also aimed to develop automated, integrated systems for workers’ welfare institutions to ensure transparency and to curtail delays in providing relief to the labourers and workers.

Labour force is backbone of our economy: Alvi

Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi said that this year the nation was celebrating Labour Day with the resolve to reaffirm commitment to the dignity of labour and pay tribute to the valiant and heroic struggle of the workers for their fundamental rights.

“The day is not only a reminder of the struggle of workers but also an acknowledgement of their contribution towards economic development. We believe that workers and employers are partners in the production process and their cooperation is essential for industrial efficiency that ultimately leads to socio-economic uplift of the country,” the president said.

He regretted that despite their contribution towards economic prosperity, labourers were facing many issues like the unsafe working environment, unfair labour practices, poor wages, lack of job security, harassment of women at the workplace, long working hours and arbitrary dismissal.

“The labour force is the backbone of our economy and it is highly essential to take steps for the protection of their rights by strictly enforcing the labour laws to discourage unfair labour practices,”

He highlighted the need to provide the “huge labour force and youth bulge” of Pakistan with modern skill sets to put the economy on fast-track development.

The president hoped that the federal and provincial governments would continue their endeavours to work for their welfare as well as to provide them with marketable skill sets.

He also urged the workers of the country to play their role in making the country economically stronger and vibrant, and employers to ensure the protection of the rights of labour and work for their welfare.

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On April 16, President Zardari will speak to the joint session of parliament.

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As to the press statement from the President’s House, the joint session of parliament is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 16, at 1600 hours.

In accordance with Article 56(3) of the Constitution, which states that the President “shall address both Houses assembled together and inform the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) of the causes of its summons” at the beginning of the first session following each general election to the National Assembly and at the beginning of the first session of each year,” he would address the joint session.

By virtue of the authority granted by Articles 54 (1) and 56 (3) of the Constitution, President Zardari called a joint session of the legislature.

It is important to note that National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq chaired the previous joint session of Parliament, which was called on March 9th in preparation for the presidential elections.

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Elections

The PPP seeks assistance from political parties in the election of the Senate chairman.

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The PPP special committee members have contacted other political parties in an attempt to get votes for Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, the party’s nominee for the Senate majority.

In order to create a plan for the chairman’s election, Senator Sherry Rehman and Naveed Qamar reached out to former PM Gillani.
According to Sherry Rehman, Yousaf Raza Gillani has a resounding majority in the Senate, and the PPP, together with its allies, will demonstrate its dominance in the chamber tomorrow (Tuesday).

It should be noted that tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., President Asif Ali Zardari will convene the Senate.

In addition to the newly elected senators taking an oath during the Senate session, the election of the chairman and deputy chairman will also take place on the same day.

On Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recommendation, the president had previously signed a summary designating Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar as the presiding officer of the senate session.

37 candidates who were selected to fill Senate seats in the most recent election were notified by the election commission.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s eleven Senate seats are still up for election.

Analysts stated that the election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman would cast doubt on the legitimacy of the process because there are just 11 lawmakers holding KP seats.

There is currently no election calendar for the 11 open KP Senate seats.

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Elections

Core Committee: PTI to abstain from Senate Chairman and Dy Chairman elections

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It has also been determined by the party to file a legal challenge against the election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman.

According to PTI core committee sources, the election was unlawful because the home was not completed. According to insiders, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s election was unconstitutional because senators were not elected.”

In the absence of the chairman, PTI sources claimed, “the house has been dysfunctional.” Except in administrative matters, the Senate Secretariat was unable to make decisions.

The sources stated that under pressure, “the Secretary Senate could not himself interpret the constitution.”

“Without the Senate Chairman, the upper chamber has merely functioned as a department,” the sources stated, calling for constitutional violations against individuals responsible for the dysfunction of the Senate.

Sources continued, “It is the first time the Senate has been rendered inoperative in the nation’s democratic history.”

A petition was previously submitted with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), which is supported by the Pakistan Terrorists (PTI), asking for a postponement of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman elections due to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s lack of Senate elections.

In the case where the petitioner asked the ECP to call an early election for the province’s 11 Senate seats, attorney Hamid Khan filed the plea on the SIC’s behalf.

Postponing the April 9 Senate chairman and deputy chairman election is recommended by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed SIC, which claims that the Electoral College will be incomplete without the KP Senate poll.

Recall that the opposition members’ application led to the provincial election commissioner in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa postponing the Senate elections on April 2.

Because the disagreement over the oath-taking of the opposition members elected to reserved seats in the KP Assembly has not been settled, the opposition members had moved the ECP.

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