Younus Dagha, Caretaker Minister of Finance, Revenue, and Planning, Government of Sindh, stated that there are 245 regulatory permissions in Sindh. These have created immense problems for citizens for a long time. The Sindh Government has prepared a strategy to reduce the number to around 124. He further informed that the human interaction with regulators would be reduced by having online applications and e-payments. He was talking to a delegation of the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) consisting of Former President Majyd Aziz, Members of the EFP Board of Directors, Humayun Nazir, Syed Hasnain Mazher, and Mehmood Arshad, along with Secretary General Syed Nazar Ali.
The Caretaker Minister also disclosed that a strategy is being formulated under which all inspections, such as Labor, SESSI, Boiler, Electric, etc., would all be done in one day where all inspectors would come as a team, and that inspections would be done every two years. “The Government is determined to have zero tolerance for bad practices or corruption. Moreover, an App is being developed for taxpayers concerning the Sindh Revenue Board. The Government will also install the SAP Software in KWSB and Town Committees across the province.”
Younus Dagha also informed that agriculture is being accorded priority and that the barren lands would be made cultivable through modern technology and equipment. He also said that mining would be a priority and all efforts would be made to attract Foreign Direct Investment in mining. This is essential to attract major foreign mining companies to explore the abundant minerals in Sindh.
Majyd Aziz informed that EFP is a Constituent of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and is very focused on ILO International Labour Standards and Fundamentals Principles of Rights at Work (FPRWs). He disclosed that EFP had prepared the first-ever Sindh Labor Policy in February 2018, unanimously endorsed by Workers and Government representatives. He called for strong efforts to explore minerals in Sindh and protect the rights of workers in mining and agriculture.
Syed Nazar Ali, Secretary General EFP, said that EFP is against multiple inspections of factories by agencies that have made it difficult for industrialists, especially in these tough times. He added that EFP nominees must be in all Labor Welfare Boards such as SESSI, Workers Welfare Fund, Minimum Wage Board, and Sindh EOBI. He also advised that the Sindh Government should promote local products in its procurement requirements. He said that a Focused Consultative Group consisting of all three constituents of ILO, i.e. Employers, Workers and Government, would be present and invited the Minister to be the Chief Guest.
Humayun Nazir informed that it is a good sign that most of the exporters are running at maximum capacity and, therefore, the Government should create a facilitative and favourable working environment in the industrial estates. Mehmood Arshad informed that the EFP Economic Council works with counterparts in the Philippines, Türkiye, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia on various issues, including bilateral trade and investment.
“The EC is also working on a Report on Import Substitution, Facilitating Meat Exporters, Fisheries, and Tourism. Syed Hasnain Mazher informed that EFP, in association with the Federal Government and ILO, has introduced the National Skills Passport Pilot Project to benefit potential and returning migrant workers who would be tested, assessed, and issued certificates in the shape of this passport. This would enable them to secure better and more fruitful employment.”
The delegation informed that on 25 September 2023, the 17th Occupational Safety, Health, and Environment Best Practices Awards Ceremony would be held in Karachi. EFP has invited the Sindh Chief Minister as the Chief Guest. The delegation also invited him as the Guest of Honor, to which the Minister accepted the invitation.