Govt calls for fixing minimum wage at Rs10,000
Karachi: The Sindh government on Thursday urged the private sector to raise the minimum pay of workers from Rs7,000 to Rs10,000 per month keeping in view the surging inflation.
Minister for Finance Murad Ali Shah informed the Sindh Assembly that he had held a meeting with businessmen and traders at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry where it was agreed the present minimum wage was insufficient for a decent living considering the skyrocketing inflation rate.
He said industrialists had told him that they would voluntarily increase the minimum pay. “In Sindh government departments, the minimum wage is Rs11, 000.”
The minister said the floods had brought devastation but it helped the provincial government to resort to financial management. “It is because of this financial management that Sindh does not owe a penny to the the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in the form of overdraft; Punjab owes over Rs100 billion.”
He criticised the findings of the flood commission set up by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, saying the recommendations for removing the chief engineers and their teams were flawed. “Judges don’t know the irrigation system.”
Referring to anchor persons of television channels, he said sarcastically that “political actors” also did not know how to control floods. “We are on the ground and know the facts.”
Responding to criticism of MPAs, the finance minister said they had informed the MQM that they could not impose agricultural income tax as 93 percent of farmers were living below subsistence. “There are 1,800 landlords in Sindh but not all of them are rich. I’ve 100 acres of land but most of it is barren.”
On a different note, the MQM’s deputy parliamentary leader said that extremists and militants presented a threat to the peace of the city. He said people were being preached violence through the loudspeakers of mosques.
On taxation, he said the MQM supported progressive taxation, regretting the fact that their demand for levying agriculture income tax was being seen in the context of rural-urban division.
Minister for Local Government Agha Siraj Durrani said that Lyari and Malir suffered from a “sense of remoteness”. “Gen Pervez Musharraf gave huge funds to major urban centres but Lyari and Malir were ignored.” Meanwhile, the supplementary budget of over Rs41 billion for 2010-2011 was approved.
Source: The News