LAHORE - The conditions of over seven million brick kiln workers, majority of them bonded labourers, continue to go from bad to worst with rapid rise in inflation, low wages and lack of implementation of relevant laws, says staff of various NGOs working to eradicate the menace of bonded labour from the country. Though the government has bound the brick kiln owners to pay minimum wages of Rs 442 to labourer for making 1,000 bricks, the owners continued to pay only Rs 300 and even deduct Rs 100 from the said amount as instalment for the return of borrowed money. As such the labourers get only Rs 200 for making 1,000 bricks. The gradual rise in inflation has made it difficult for the labourers to make both ends meet while cruel owners continue to add to their miseries by increasing debt. Lack of awareness on the part of labourers allow the owners to exploit the poor. Majority of the labourers do not know that their minimum wages are Rs 442 for making 1,000 bricks. The government officials take least interest in implementing the set rate, thus giving a free hand to the owners to add to the miseries of already poverty hit people, said Roheen Rafiq, working on a pilot project of Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan (BLLF) in Kasur district, adding, the NGO was taking on board all the stakeholders to alleviate the menace of bonded labour in the project district. She said that after three year pilot project in Kasur, the same efforts would be made in other districts to ensure provision of due rights to the labourers. It is a pity, that the brick kiln owners are giving less wages while at the same time deducting Rs 100 to make recovery of borrowed amount. Shrewd accountants of brick klin owners, in majority cases even did not mention the deducted amount in accounts, thus the debt remained the same despite recovery of the entire loan. The poor and illiterate labourers have left with no other option except to receive less wages and continue to pay for the borrowed money, she said, adding, that efforts of giving rights to labourers get results but they always proved short living due to lack of interest and coordination among major stakeholders.