LAHORE: Negotiations between the provincial government and visually-impaired people protesting for the implementation of a job quota for them, ended successfully on Tuesday.
The visually-impaired activists had been protesting in front of the Press Club and the Punjab Assembly for three days. They called off the protest on Tuesday after a committee, constituted on orders of the chief minister, held negotiations with them.
Government Spokesperson Zaeem Qadri said that the committee, headed by Chaudhry Saud Majeed, had negotiated with representatives of the visually impaired people.
He said they had been promised that implementation of the one per cent increase in job quota for the visually impaired would be ensured at all costs.
Qadri said that they had informed the delegation that ads for vacancies had been circulated in all newspapers and visually-impaired people could apply for the jobs they were qualified for. He said that the government had increased the quota for the visually impaired from two to three per cent. Increasing it further wouldn’t be fair to other disadvantaged groups. He said the visually impaired would be considered for all jobs in government departments where there was a vacancy.
Qadri said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had addressed a meeting through video link at the Civil Secretariat on Tuesday where he had directed relevant departments and ministers to play an active role for the rehabilitation of disabled people and to take swift measures to implement the enhanced job quota for them.
He also directed them to ensure that the job quota for disabled people in the private sector was complied with.
After the negotiations, the protesters, who had been holding placards and banners and had tried to force entry into the Punjab Assembly, shouted slogans praising the chief minister and called off the protest.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2015.
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