Balochistan cabinet approves ban on bonded labour.

QUETTA: A marathon session of the Balochistan cabinet, held here on Wednesday with Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani in a chair, took various decisions while discussing an over 20-point agenda and approved a ban on bonded labour, recovery of bonded laborers, and their rehabilitation.

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Under an amendment to the Balochistan Bonded Labour System Bill 2020, people found involved in hiring bonded labour would undergo one-year imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs100,000.

Under the amendment made under the International Labour Organisation convention, vigilance committees would be established at the district level to monitor the situation of bonded labour.

The cabinet also approved some amendments to the Bolan Medical University of Health Sciences Act 2017 under which the previous status of the Bolan Medical College would be restored. The principal and the administration of the college would work under the authority of the provincial government.

However, the Bolan Medical College will remain part of the Bolan Medical University of Medical and Health Sciences for five years.

The cabinet also approved the Balochistan Employ­ment of Children Probation and Regulation Bill 2020 and the amended draft of the Building Control Regu­lations 2019 through which 1,979 building codes will also apply in Quetta city.

The local government secretary informed the meeting that presently the building code of 1937 was imposed in Quetta whereas the building code of 2019 was imposed in other cities and towns of the province.

The cabinet also approved an amendment to the Balo­chistan Mineral Rules 2020. The basic purpose of this amen­dment is to provide more benefits to the two companies established by the provincial government — Balo­chistan Mineral Res­o­urces Limited and Balo­chistan Mineral Company. Through the amendment, both companies can acquire mining leases as autonomous bodies. It was also decided that both companies will initiate mineral exploration with the assistance of the private sector. Both companies will also be enlisted in the Stock Exchange.

Members of the provincial cabinet appreciated the establishment of these companies and hoped that the companies and investment in the mineral sector would increase the income of Balochistan.

The cabinet also approved an increase in fine amount on violation of traffic rules and regulations. The cabinet discussed the Covid-19 situation in the province and decided to take up the demand for increasing Balochistan’s share of the federal government’s subsidy on urea at the Council for Common Interests.

The agriculture secretary briefed the meeting about the payment of subsidy to growers and urea dealers.