Our Staff reporter NANKANA SAHIB - The biggest disadvantage and impediment in the way of betterment of bonded labourers and brick kiln workers is the fact that 65 per cent of parliamentarians are owners of kilns who never allow any useful and fruitful laws to enact which could control their own exploitations of the poor workers. This phenomenon also leave the workers helpless and with no option but to accept Rs350 per 1,000 bricks, contrary to the minimum wages fixed at Rs571 per 1,000 bricks by the government itself. The remarks were made by speakers during stakeholders consultation on eradication of forced and bonded labour at brick kilns held at Sports club here on Thursday. The meeting was organised by the Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan (BLLF) in collaboration with Friedrich-Ebret-Stiftung (FES). District Officer (DO) Imran Haider Tipu, DO (E&IP) Shafique Tariq, DO Social Welfare Shahbir Ahmed, Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran General Secretary Engr Sh Shahid Mahmood, former nazim Ch Faisal Ibrar, Advocate Saddique Dogar and Usman Subhani threw light on the issue and suggested tangible proposals to bring improvements in the lives of the brick kiln workers. Speaking on the occasion, DO Officer Labour Imran Tipu informed the participants that Nankana was the only district in Punjab wherein all 57 brick kilns were registered and computerized NI cards had been issued to about 2,150 workers. He pointed out that there were about 11,000 brick kilns functional across the province. BLLF Executive Member Mahar Safdar Ali said that it was the prime obligation of the entire government machinery, public representatives and civil society to ensure registration of all brick kiln workers and provide them with legal entitlements. He stressed the need for implementation of minimum wage limits and existing laws of Bonded Labour Abolition Act 1992 and rules of 1995 in letter and spirit. He also called on the government authorities to ensure provision of social security card, EOBI, Marriage and death grant to brick kiln workers to mitigate their sufferings. Mahar Safdar also highlighted the role of police in the eradiation of bonded labor. In his speech, Faisal Malik Bhutter appealed to the authorities concerned to take notice of the complaints being registered by the workers. BLLF General Secretary Syeda Ghulam Fatima underlined the needs and assistance in the health, education, sanitation and environment to the brick kiln workers and their families. The DO Labour informed the participants that it was very difficult for his office to take any action against the violation of laws due to a ban on the inspection as per 2003 industrial policy of the government at the provincial and federal levels. Unfortunately, the District Vigilance Committee meant to ensure betterment and safeguard the rights of the workers has been lying dormant without any reason, he pointed out. Syeda Fatima said that the biggest disadvantage and hurdle in the way of betterment of the workers was the fact that 65 per cent parliamentarians were the owners of the kilns who did not let any useful law enact which could control their own exploitations of the workers. She said that these parliamentarians exploit their position forced the kiln workers to get Rs350 per 1000 bricks in violation of minimum wages fixed by the government as Rs571 per 1000 bricks.