KARACHI        -            Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah said that Sindh Govt was cognizant about the economic impact of closure of factories and was committed to allow the industries to function gradually.

However, industrialists have to give an undertaking that all prescribed SOPs would be complied in letter and spirit as the government was seriously determined to control COVID-19. He was talking in meeting with Majyd Aziz, President Employers Federation of Pakistan, Khalid Junejo, Director, and Fasihul Karim Siddiqi, Secretary General in his office.

Responding to the demand of EFP that the workers’ wages and salaries should be financed from the Workers Welfare Fund and SESSI reserves, the Chief Secretary, who was assisted by Additional Chief Secretary Home, Usman Chachar and Secretary Labor, Abdul Rasheed Solangi, understood the proposal and advised the Labor Secretary to discuss with Labor Minister Saeed Ghani to immediately hold a meeting of the Boards of WWF and SESSI and to finalize modalities to either give interest-free loans or at least 50% subsidy from these funds.

Mumtaz Ali Shah in his response to the suggestion that utility bills from SSGC and KE and contributions to SESSI and EOBI be suspended for one year, assured the delegation that the Federal Govt would be contacted to facilitate the industries because it was a genuine demand when industries were facing a financial crunch.

“The limit of 55 years is only for workers and not for management personnel. He categorically disagreed with the demand that the undertaking condition that employers have to sign should be withdrawn,” informed the Chief Secretary. Mr. Shah also agreed that SMEs must be fully supported to maintain their sustainability and save them from financial disaster. He said that the government had taken relevant steps in this regard.

 

He further said that the govt understood the need to also allow downstream industries of export-based enterprises to function otherwise the export-based industries would not be able to run without continuous supply of accessories and material produced by the downstream industries.

 

Chief Secretary requested the employers to assist the government during this crisis and hoped that private sector would refrain from litigation in the larger national interest. He also assured that his office would henceforth regularly consult with EFP and appreciated the positive role of EFP during this crisis.