MUZAFFARABAD: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government has decided to ban child labour in the valley after an amendment to the Restriction on Employment of Children Act 2016 was approved.
The approved amendment was taken up in a cabinet meeting chaired by AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider in Muzaffarabad on Wednesday.
According to the amendments, children less than 17 years of age cannot be hired in the private sector.
While sharing details of the cabinet’s decision with the media, Education Minister Barrister Iftikhar Geelani said that the amended law would help discourage child labour in the region.
The AJK Cabinet further decided to boost security in the valley.
“It was also decided in the cabinet to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at all entry and exit points of AJK to ensure the proper check on ‘unwelcome’ people in the region,” Geelani added.
“It has also been decided to upgrade the police while providing them with the latest communication systems,” he said, adding that the cabinet had decided to build additional police stations and hire officials for the force to make it “quick and powerful.”
Further, all the government department heads were told to generate revenue in their departments and to justify their expenditures since over 90 per cent of AJK’s budget goes to government employees.
The cabinet also decided to preserve and renovate historical buildings and archaeological sites in the region to attract more tourists.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2017.