LAHORE - Besides ensuring recruitment quota for disabled persons in public sector, Punjab government is also decided on its effective implementation.

It was decided at a meeting the other day chaired by the Punjab Chief Secretary Khizar Hayat Gondal and participated by Member Public Affairs Committee Ch Saud Majeed, ACS, Secretaries to Law, I&C, Special Education and Social Welfare departments.

The secretaries to Industries and Secretary Labor departments would be taken on board for the effective implementation of 2 per cent quota for the disabled in the private sector. Both of the departments have been directed to prepare necessary reports about employment of the disabled in the private sector.

The chair also directed the Secretary I&C, S&GAD, to include the recruitment of disabled against the quota in the agenda of Commissioners’ Conference. The social welfare secretary should develop a rehabilitation plan for the disabled and submit to the chief secretary.

It is to be noted that in response to a meeting of a delegation of Pakistan Blind Association with Chief Minister Shabaz Sharif in December 2014, the CM had raised employment quota for the disabled from 2 to 3pc, and also allowed relaxation on ban against recruitment of this quota.

Moreover, minutes of the 1st Cabinet Committee meeting to oversee the implementation of CM’s package for the welfare for the disabled specially the blind emphasise that the disabled quota to be implemented in letter and spirit.

The Special Education secretary briefed the committee participants that School Education Department had declared the blind applicants ineligible against posts of educators advertised by them. This discriminatory act had led to discontentment amongst the blind. The CS advised that same may be taken up by the committee through Social Welfare & Baitul Maal Department to do away with any such discriminatory condition.

The official documents show that the Punjab Council for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (PCRDP) informed that the Social Welfare Department had issued instructions to all administrative secretaries and DCOs to initiate recruitment process against reserved quota for disabled and complete the same at the earliest. However, no progress had been reported to SW&BM department.

The issue will be re-emphasized through I&C Wing as well, to all concerned to ensure completion of recruitment against disabled quota by 31.03.2015.

The Minister for Special Education has also recommended that report of departments pertaining to disabled quota and shortfall may be completed after collection of data from departments that was not furnished.

 “Since December 2014, we received over 500 applications by disabled including blind for employment, which were forwarded to the concerned departments and district governments to consider for employment,” the Social Welfare and Baitul Maal secretary informed the meeting.

A senior officer of the Punjab government told this paper that the Government of Pakistan had promulgated a law in order to provide for employment, rehabilitation and welfare of disabled persons in the country. He said that the "Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance" was promulgated in 1981during the "International Year for Disabled Persons" in 1981 to provide support to the disabled persons in finding employment in government as well as commercial and industrial establishments which employs at least 100 workers for the whole year.

He further said that the government had also ratified 'ILO Convention on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons' besides the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The officer confirmed that both the public and private sector had been violating the law regarding rehabilitation of the disabled. “On the directions of the chief minister, the Punjab government has started provision of jobs to the persons with disabilities,” he said, adding that that many departments had already floated their ads for the disabled to recruit them against the quota.

He informed that the Punjab ACS had also desired that all the concerned departments would forward the progress report by 20th of this month for further action.