LAHORE - Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said the PML-N government is determined to eliminate child labour from Punjab.

“The Punjab government has given an exemplary package for equipping the children working at brick kilns with education,” the CM said while addressing a ceremony held in connection with World Day against Child Labour at Model Town yesterday.

“Punjab government has not only raised slogans for elimination of child labour from the province but also taken revolutionary steps,” he said while announcing a stipend of one thousand rupees per month for the girls of class 6th in all government schools of Punjab in coming budget.

He further said that Punjab government is providing a stipend of Rs1,000 per month to the children working at brick kilns besides providing them free of cost books, uniform, shoes and other educational facilities. “After brick kilns, child labour will be eliminated from hotels, petrol pumps and workshops as well,” he added.

Shehbaz said that child labour is a great crime and for elimination of this evil from the society we will have to move forward and eliminate this injustice forever. “This time is not for hurling allegations but looking into our conscience and self-accountability,” he said, urging the need to ameliorate the lot of the poor and spend resources on the welfare of the nation.

The CM stressed that the country’s fate can be changed through hard work and honesty.

Punjab Labour Minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, International Labour Organization Country Director Ingrid Christensen and Pakistan Workers Federation President Chaudhry Naseem Iqbal also spoke on the occasion.

Referring to raid at brick kiln during his visit to Kasur, Shehbaz Sharif said the labourers working at brick kilns have informed that no medical or first aid facility is available for them. He told the audience that he had requested brick kiln owners to voluntarily provide medical facilities to the workers.

During the ceremony, the CM said that time has come to eliminate child labour from Pakistan. He expressed the hope that child labour will be eliminated forever and children working at brick kilns will be equipped with education and become great builders of the nation.

Shehbaz Sharif also called for ILO’s cooperation to Punjab government for elimination of child labour.

“We do not need financial assistance but want to benefit from the expertise and experience of ILO,” he told the ILO representatives.

Separately, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq called on Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and congratulated him on recovery of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after his quadruple bypass in London.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that Pakistan Muslim League-N believes in politics of values. He added that his government was taking all out steps for the welfare of masses.

Shehbaz said that new records of public service will be set in next two years. “Today’s Pakistan is more safe, peaceful, prosperous and leading on the road to progress as compared to past.”