100-Day Reform Plan: Punjab Cabinet approves several laws, policies

The Punjab Cabinet in line with the 100-day reform plan of the provincial government for welfare of the people province on Sunday approved a number of laws and policies.

These include 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 across sectors, creating attractive job opportunities for Punjab’s rapidly growing labor 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 National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), register and regulate public and private TVET institutes and assessment agencies. It will also regulate the enforcement of the apprenticeship regime, devise and enforce a mechanism of monitoring and inspection of TVET service providers and assessment agencies for ensuring compliance to the national and/or provincial standards and encourage TVET 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 ILO Conventions. The special focus in the policy is on Occupational Safety & 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.

The promulgation of Occupational Safety and Health Act 2018 will secure workers by minimizing the hazards or risks that may negatively impact their health, safety or wellbeing at their workplaces. Under the Agriculture Policy, Government of Punjab stipulates specific measures in the immediate future articulated in the 100 days agenda of the government.

The new agriculture policy promotes inclusive growth among all 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 optimize subsidy programs through targeting and ICT technologies among other steps.

The passage of all these policies points towards the fact that the Punjab government is well on its way to achieving its 100 days reform agenda in the province.

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