109th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) Statement by Mr. Ishrat Ali, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development of Pakistan (15 June 2021)
Honourable Chair, Ministers and Excellencies,
It is indeed an honour to join this august gathering of the
World of Work.
We appreciate the ILO Director
General for his comprehensive report that sheds light on the multifaceted
impacts of COVID-19 pandemic in the world of work. The data and numbers
mentioned in the report with respect to unprecedented loss of jobs, livelihoods
and incomes of the employed are indeed deeply worrisome, especially in the
I wish to share the extra-ordinary social protection and
support measures taken
by Pakistan. In doing so, the Government of Pakistan pursued a balanced
approach of smart lock downs while maintaining business continuity.
In terms of social protection measures under Ehsaas
Emergency Cash Programme, Government disbursed $1.2 billion among nearly 15
million who lost livelihoods and were most vulnerable. Simultaneously, the
Government provided financial support measures for SMEs, businesses and
industry to minimize job losses.
Cumulatively, as a result of these steps, Pakistan’s economy has
performed well, resulting in a 3.94 per cent growth rate this fiscal year. The
GDP size has increased by12.54 per cent and per capita income by 13.4 percent. Our
V-shaped recovery is driven by three major sectors - agriculture, industry and
Our Government remains focused on people-centered
development and economic growth, with a special attention towards our 65.5 million
workforces and around 7.5 million migrant diaspora.
Advancing this vision, the Government has taken a number of
policy measures to advance education, health, nutrition, digitalization,
disasters reduction and economic growth.
The Ehsaas Kafalat programme has supported 5.7
million low-income families to expand financial and digital inclusion of around
7 million women through the ‘one woman one bank account’ policy.
In another mega initiative for workers, Government has
rolled out programmes to provide 5 million (5,000,000) houses for workers
on easy installments and mortgage.
As the fifth most populous developing country in the world,
Pakistan is navigating the economic and social challenges through a range of
legislative, policy and administrative measures to improve labour standards
reduce informality in the economy and create economic growth that expands
opportunities for decent work. Even as we mobilize domestic resources and
create fiscal space, the cascading financial and economic impacts of the
pandemic at global level present major constraining factors. The growing debt
profile, reduced liquidity and slowing down of trade and investment activities
necessitate early redressal of international financing for development activities
in developing countries especially in the world of work.
We thank the DG for his Report on the state of workers in
Occupied Arab Territories.
We express our serious concerns over the deteriorating
situation of workers, compounded by the impact of pandemic and devastation caused
by the recent Israeli aggression. We express our solidarity with workers of occupied
Arab territories and reiterate our demand for ending the occupation and
peaceful coexistence of two States.
Human centered economic recovery remains dependent on early
and equitable vaccine distribution and enhanced production of vaccines by
removal of undue patent protections. Multilateral cooperation is essential to
saving lives, livelihoods and jobs. We reiterate call for early lifting of such
Finally, we reiterate
our commitment to the principles of social justice of ILO and are resolved to
make sincere efforts to achieve it through increased social dialogue and
tripartite cooperation for a
fairer future for all.