‘Pandemic exposed fatal flaws of neo-liberal economic policies’


Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the labour class, particularly daily wagers have been affected worst due to the economic fallout of the COVID19 pandemic.
In his message issued on Thursday on the International Labour Day, he said that the global Corona pandemic had exposed the fatal flaws of neo-liberal economic policies, laying bare the anti-labour policies of governments that serve the few at the cost of the many.
He said that it was the responsibility of federal governments to ensure the speedy provision of relief to the poor and the daily wagers during the deadly pandemic. Sadly they have been left at the mercy of profiteers or subjected to lay-offs, he said adding that the state has abandoned its responsibilities and shrugged of its burden of care to protect the rights of the labour and working classes.
The PPP Chairman said that this situation is a moment of concern for every conscientious Pakistani. At a time when the lives of our fellow citizens are in danger and their future is uncertain, conspiracies are being hatched to privatize selected state units and deprive the provinces of their constitutional powers and funds, he added. He pointed out that the people’s government in Sindh, through legislation, has banned the firing of any employee during a lockdown, while hundreds of thousands unemployed workers and their families have been provided with necessary rations at their doorsteps.
Bilawal Bhutto demanded that the federal government should provide financial assistance to unemployed workers on the basis of the minimum wage set by the government until its is safe for Pakistan to end the lockdown and send people back to work without risking their lives and well being.
He added that it was the workers who are the backbone of the economy and society, and reiterated his commitment to the founding principles of the PPP, and build an economy by protecting the labour class not by allowing for their exploitation. “It is the PPP which formulated the first Labour Policy in the country and recognized the value of the labour of workers. And it is the PPP that ensured employees were made partners in the growth and wealth they generated by enacting the Benazir Stock Option Scheme.