Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Minister for Labour and Industries Bakht Baidar Khan on Wednesday said the government would supply locally produced electricity to industries at the rate of Rs2 per unit.
Addressing a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club (PPC), the minister said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) new industrial policy would cater to the needs of investors and provide facilities to industrialists and traders. Baidar added the K-P government would make every effort to revive the province’s economy, which has been shattered by the ongoing militancy.
He stressed the revival of the industrial sector was a must to control growing unemployment and maintained the government was fully committed to improving industrialisation and attracting foreign and local investment.
“The industrial sector needs to be revitalised through investment as it has been plagued by terrorism and an ongoing energy crisis,” he said, adding a large number of industrial units across the province have closed down, triggering massive unemployment in K-P.
Baidar also claimed K-P was not given its due share of electricity from the National Power Control Centre. “This has further exacerbated the problem,” he shared.
“If other countries are interested in eliminating terrorism, they need to come forward and invest in our industrial sector,” asserted the minister. He informed South Korean investors were interested in investing in K-P’s energy sector and extending monetary assistance. “The K-P government is hopeful of support from USAID in this regard as well.”
The minister pointed out the government has also increased the minimum wage to Rs10,000 a month from Rs8,000 in the light of the provincial Minimum Wage Act, 2013. “The increase, which came into effect from July 1, is the largest increase of its kind in the country’s history.”
Baidar explained the increase would apply to all educational institutions, private hospitals, clinics, laboratories and other private institutions across the province. “The law also has provisions for overtime if employees work for more than eight hours,” he said.
“In order to ensure the new wage is implemented, the department has established a cell which registers online complaints made by workers against the establishment responsible,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2013.
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