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=> HYDERABAD, Feb 11: The Sindh chapter of the Nation

HYDERABAD, Feb 11: The Sindh chapter of the National Labour Federation on Monday demanded that the government should restore dowry grant scheme, give control over the Workers Welfare Fund to the Sindh Workers Welfare Board and replace the federal secretary for labour.

The president of the Sindh NLF Rana Mehmood Ali Khan said at a news conference at the press club that the federal labour department introduced a scheme for advancing to the workers Rs50,000 from the Workers Welfare Fund as dowry grant for their daughters’ marriage and received 8,000 applications from Sindh for 2006-07.

The department approved the applications and prepared cheques, which were to be given to workers in July 2007, but then suddenly the scheme was suspended on the pretext of prevailing corruption, he said.

The department allocated only 10 per cent of the fund for the welfare schemes and spent the rest on the construction of labour colonies, which provided more options for corruption, he alleged.

He wondered the department spotted corruption only in dowry scheme and overlooked the housing schemes whose managers from top to bottom had their share in the booty.

He claimed that even the committee nominated by the fund’s governing body had recommended restoration of scheme but the federal secretary who was chairman of the fund was still dilly-dallying on the issue.

He demanded replacement of the secretary by a senior officer of civil service. He belonged to police service and was totally unfit for the present post, Mr Khan said.

He said that the industrial units of the province had been contributing tens of millions of rupees per annum to the welfare funds under the “Companies Profits (workers participation) Act 1968” and “Workers Welfare Fund Ordinance 1971” and Sindh was contributing more to this fund than other provinces.

The department uses the fund for supplying sewing machines, cycles, death grant, dowry grant and construction of labour colonies.
Source: Dawn