ISLAMABAD: No allocation has been made this year in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the welfare of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). This is no different from the previous year’s allocation.
However in 2011 Pakistan ratified UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Pakistan is therefore obligated to submit its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In this report a body of independent expert monitors implementation of the Convention by the States Parties.
Pakistan it seems lacks a focal point at National level to fulfill it international commitments. The report had not been submitted since 2013 because of the devolution of Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education under the 18th Amendment.
“Every year huge commitments are being made by the government officials for the empowerment of PWDs. However after the 18th Amendment year on year we find no allocation of budget for their welfare in PSDP.” said Atif Sheikh, President of STEP. Talking to The Express Tribune Atif demanded that the government exempt all assistive devices from taxes in the upcoming budget.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2015.