The Sindh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a law to regulate the minimum wage of workers employed in various industrial and commercial establishments.
Senior minister for education and parliamentary affairs, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, while briefing the House on the Sindh Minimum Wages Bill, 2015 said, "Minimum wages means minimum rate of remuneration announced, declared, adopted and notified by the government from time to time which shall include basic pay and statutory allowances, etc."
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The provincial government has announced Rs13,000 minimum wage for fiscal year 2015-16.
Khuhro said after the 18th Amendment, the provincial governments have to make this law to notify the minimum wage in the province.
According to the law, there will be a minimum wage board consisting of chairperson and one member each to represent employers, workers, employers connected with industry or trade and workers engaged in such an industry and trade. The chairperson and members will be appointed by the government.
"The labour minister can be the chairperson of this board," suggested the senior minister. The law further states that the board may recommend minimum rates of wages for all classes of workers including skilled and unskilled for time work, piece work, over time and work on a weekly day of rest and for paid holidays.
MQM resolution not allowed
During Monday's session chaired by speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, MQM lawmakers staged a token walkout when they were not allowed to move a resolution calling to lift the court ban on Altaf Hussain's coverage. Opposition leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan, Muhammad Hussain and Faisal Subzwari of the MQM insisted to move the resolution. "Freedom of speech is a fundamental right of every citizen. In this situation, Altaf Bhai cannot even condemn the brutal attacks by extremists in Pakistan. Thousands of people living in Pakistan want to listen to his speeches," said Hussain.
The opposition leader said the matter [of coverage ban] is in court and they want to move a resolution against the federal government's decision.
Khuhro said the case is pending in court, so a resolution cannot be moved on it. The speaker also said there will be a contempt of court case if anyone tried to move the resolution. "It is a sub-judice matter, so I cannot allow you [to move the resolution]. Let the court decide on it. Please try to understand our position," Durrani pleaded.
The MQM members then staged a token walkout.
PTI walks out
Earlier, PTI MPAs staged a token walkout out when their MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman was not given time to speak on the demolition of assembly employees' quarters. Assuring the house that the government would provide an alternative place to the employees, the speaker said, "I have summoned the secretary services to give alternative places to these employees," he said.
"PPP believes in giving shelter to the people. Please avoid playing politics on it," he added. Despite many attempts, the speaker did not allow Zaman to speak which resulted in the PTI lawmakers staging a token walkout.
Water shortage in District West
The assembly was informed that some criminals including militants affiliated with Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan run illegal water hydrants in District West. The issue was raised by MQM MPA Kamran Akhtar.
Speaking on the call attention notice, he asked the local government minister the reason for acute water shortage in the district.
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The minister said the Hub River has dried up for want of rains resulting in shortage of water in the district. "We are managing to provide them water received through Keenjhar Lake," he informed.
During the session, the Sindh Allied Health Professional Council Bill, Sindh Bonded Labour System and Sindh Companies Profits Bill were referred to the relevant standing committees for feedback.
Later, the speaker adjourned the session till Tuesday (today).
Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2016.
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