LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet has given the nod to various new policies and reformed legislations as the first 100 days of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are about to complete.
The list of new legislations and approved policies showed that the provincial cabinet has approved Punjab Industrial Policy, establishment of Punjab Skills Development Authority (PSDA), Punjab Labour Policy, Occupational Safety and Health Act 2018, Domestic Workers Act 2018 and Punjab Agriculture Policy.
The Punjab Industrial Policy includes measures for facilitating private sector investment growth by providing an enabling eco-system, boosting productivity and competitiveness to drive up exports and compete with imported goods, ensuring level playing field for domestic and foreign players, creating attractive job opportunities for Punjab’s rapidly growing labour force and providing special focus on disenfranchised segments of the society – impoverished districts, women and disabled people.
The establishment of the Punjab Skills Development Authority will help in implementing policies and standards established by the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), register and regulate public and private technical education and vocational training (TEVT) institutes and assessment agencies.
It will also regulate the enforcement of the apprenticeship regime, devise and enforce a mechanism of monitoring and inspection of TEVT service providers and assessment agencies for ensuring compliance to the national and provincial standards, encourage TEVT institutes to develop courses according to territorial needs in conformity with the national standards.
The Punjab Labour Policy 2018 has been formulated to focus on labour rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan, labour laws and International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions. The special focus in the policy is on occupational safety and health, minimum wage, freedom of association and elimination of child labour, extension of labour laws to the informal sector and reinvigoration of labour inspection regime.
By promulgating the domestic workers law, the most neglected strata of informal sector of the society will get an identity of a ‘worker’ and a forum to resolve their issues. While the promulgation of Occupational Safety and Health Act 2018 will secure workers by minimising the hazards or risks that may negatively impact their health, safety or wellbeing at their workplaces.
Under the agriculture policy, the Punjab government plans to take specific measures in the immediate future articulated in the 100-day agenda of the PTI’ government. The new agriculture policy will help promote inclusive growth among all the stakeholders with a specific focus on women and rural youth. It includes measures to increase farmer profitability, reduce the cost of inputs for farmers, introduce regenerative agriculture and weed management, encourage crop diversification to improve crop-mix and optimise subsidy programmes through targeting and the ICT technologies among other steps.