LAHORE               -              Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has stressed the need for waging struggle for a new policy to protect the right of labourers.

“People usually talk about minimum wage. There is need to demand living wage to enable a labourer to manage kitchen, educate children and provide treatment to elders,” he said while addressing a conference on labour rights at a local hotel on Wednesday.

Former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira, Ch Manzoor Ahmed, Sindh ministers Saeed Ghani and Nazar Hussain Shah were also present.

Accusing the present regime of economic murder of the masses, Bilawal said that the PPP would never accept anti public PTI-IMF deal.

“Everyone is feeling the brunt of economic mismanagement of the PTI government. Price-hike in the last 15 month is unprecedented. Instead of protecting rights of the poor, the government sacrificed labourers at the altar of IMF. Moody, Bloomberg or any other financial institution cannot tell whether the economy is going in right direction or not. Only labourers can describe the real situation,” he said.

“We will force the stooge to leave with the help of labourers,” he said, adding, the PPP would come into power with the help of the masses and would give due rights to the labourers. He said that it was a pity that the labourers were not given share in profit of an institution but always bears the entire burden in case of losses. He said that unlike dictators and the selected, the PPP always opposed privatization of state institutions. “Labourers have always fought against privatization of institutions. Even Pervaiz Musharaf failed to sold institutions,” he said, adding, the selected stooges would not be able to these institutions that had blood and sweat of labourers. He expressed hope that the independent judiciary would support labourers like it did in the past.

“We will face the emerging challenges of modernization and climate change with the support of labourers. We will promote green industry to generate more and more job opportunities,” he said.

“There is difference between the philosophy of PPP and other parties. PTI or PML-N thinks of industrialists spending on labourers after getting money. We believe in giving benefits to the labourers. The PPP introduced programmes like BISP so the money goes to the poorest of the poor. Whenever PPP came into power, it increased salaries, wages and pensions,” he said.

Despite the challenges of global recession and the menace of terrorism, he said, the PPP regime created jobs opportunities, increased salaries and pensions and introduced programmes for the poor like BISP. He said that the PPP would devise a new policy and gave the portfolio of labour minister to a labourer. He accepted that the situation was not ideal in Sindh but it was due to prevailing system overall situation in the country.

“Saeed Ghani is regarded as pro labour,” he said, adding, the Sindh was the only province that formulated and implemented agriculture women workers bill. He said that the PPP founder was the first PM to give the right of forming trade bodies.