FAISALABAD-Punjab Labour Minister Ansar Majeed Khan has announced the establishment of another Social Security hospital in Faisalabad, saying that legislation is in the process to ensure utilisation of Workers Welfare Funds by the province from which it has been collected.

He was addressing a function in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce &Industry (FCCI) which was also attended by Punjab Agriculture Minister Nauman Ahmed Langrial, Minister for Social Welfare and Baitul Mal Muhammad Ajmal Cheema in addition to MPAs Latif Nazar, Khyal Kastro, Shakeel Shahid, Mian Waris and Miss Firdous Roy.

He claimed there are more than 2 million workers in Faisalabad but the official record shows that only 200,000 to 300,000 workers are registered. He informed an emergency drive would be launched soon to register maximum workers so that they could be brought into Social Security net.

Responding to the audit of Faisalabad base industry in Lahore, he categorically assured that there audit would be conducted in Faisalabad. He also assured that an enhancement of contribution from Rs15,000 to Rs22,000 will be reviewed. Similarly new legislation is also under consideration to safeguard the legal protection of domestic workers including cook, driver, and maid etc. He expressed concern over the prevailing poor conditions of labour colony and schools, assuring to review a proposal that if these could be utilized for Prime Minister Package for the construction of 5 million houses.

Regarding demand for LHC bench in Faisalabad, he said that public pressure could be exerted for this genuine demand. He said that after the election of Bar Associations in January next year, he will personally talk to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on this issue.

Ansar Majeed assured that he will also take up the issue of notice to the small shopkeepers and an inquiry in this regard will be conducted to discourage this practice in future.

On the occasion, Punjab Agriculture Minister Nauman Ahmed informed that the government is already providing Rs500 as subsidy per beg on fertilizers. He said that depreciation in the value of rupee resulted in increase in the price of fertilizers. "However, we are expecting that dollar will slide down as a result of bailout package from different friendly countries," he expressed his hope.

Regarding brick-lining of watercourses, he said that earlier only 50% length of water courses was allowed to be brick-lined while present government has decided to allow brick-lining of 70% length of water courses. Similarly the water courses brick-lined 20 years ago would also be allowed to be reconstructed.

Ajmal Cheema said that the industrialists of Faisalabad are already taking part in social welfare activities. He, however, hoped that they would collaborate with local director social welfare to work in a more systematic and organized manners. He mentioned the efforts of SanatZar where various skills are being imparted to the young girls. He requested the industrialist to will provide them reasonable jobs in their concerned industry.

Earlier, FCCI President Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain said that it is a lucky day that three provincial ministers along with a large number of elected parliamentarians are present in this house. He briefly introduced Faisalabad and told that FCCI is serving the business community of this city for the last 44 years. He told that predominantly Faisalabad is an agro-industrial city.

Alumdar Hussain also demanded more hospitals for industrial workers and said that issues regarding social security and EOBI should also be resolved on top priority basis.

A question answer session was also held which was participated by senior Vice President Mian Tanveer Ahmed, Vice President Engineer Ihtesham Javaid, Hajji Aslam Bhalli, Rana Talib Hussain, Mr. Kashif Zia, Rana SikandarAzam, Mr. Tanveer Riaz, Abdul Haq and Ayub Aslam Munj. Later FCCI shields were also presented to the Provincial Ministers.