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Punjab amendments made in the Provincial Employees Social Security Ordinance, 1965
After the 18th amendment of the Constitution of Pakistan abolishing the Concurrent list from the Constitution of Pakistan, inter alia, the Labour has become a provincial subject and every province is entitled to make it’s own Labour Laws applicable to it’s province.
By notification published in the Punjab Govt. Gazette dated 07-10-2013 pages 1109 to 1112 amendments have been made by the Provincial Employees Social Security (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 making drastic amendments in the Provincial Employees Social Security Ordinance, 1965 which would apply only to the province of Punjab. Some of it’s salient features are explained below:––
1- Once again instead of Act of the Provincial Assembly the amendments have been made by this amendment ordinance by the Punjab Govt. which is applicable only to the province of Punjab w.e.f. 07-10-2013.
2- Instead of patchwork and creating confusion by amending the P.E. Social Security Ordinance, 1965 applicable to Punjab it would have been better for Punjab to make its separate Social Security law to avoid confusion and conflicts.
3- Section 2(f) has been substituted by new sub-section keeping the wage limit open to be determined by the Punjab Govt. from time to time as provided by Section 71 which is a bad change keeping it open to the bureaucracy.
4- In Clause 2(25-a) in the provision of the Self-Assessment for it’s application instead of fixed wage limit it provides wage limit fixed by the Provincial Govt. under Section 71, making the Self-Assessment Scheme further less attractive to the employers and defeating the scheme of the law of the self-assessment originally envisaged under it. The Self Assessment Scheme is not liked by the officials of the institution and it is being made less attractive to the employers.
5- Section 2(25-a) has been substituted by a new clause making the wage limit for contribution of 6% of the wage and keeping it open for review of the wage limit for contribution in January every year as provided by Section 71 of the Ordinance.
6- In Section 15 the word “Government” has been substituted by the words, “the Institution” enhancing powers of officials of the Institution and abuses connected therewith
7- In Section 20 amendment makes it open by the limiting the words “not more than six percent” by 6% of the wage limit fixed under Section 71 thereby enhancing the roll of bureaucracy and the proviso under it has been substituted by a new proviso giving powers to bureaucracy opening misuse of Section 71 of the Ordinance.
8- Section 20-A (Self Assessment Scheme) has been made further less attractive by giving power to fix wage limit for contribution keeping in new Section 71. The employees contribution has been raised from rupees twenty to Rs. 40/- p.m.
9- In Section 42 a new sub-Section 2B has been inserted limiting it’s scope.
10- Under Section 54-A, instead of clear provision, role of the Govt. official has been left open to fix wage limit under Section 71.
11- Fine of Rs. 50 under Section 62 has been revised to Rs. 5000/-
12- Section 66 has been amended and punishment under it has been raised upto rupees ten thousand but not less than Rs. 2000/-
13- Section 70 has been amended to enhance bureaucratic power under it.
Unfortunaty these amendments instead of making clear and specific provisions have enhanced bureaucratic power by leaving matters to bureaucratic discretion which would open the doors of misuse and corruption.
For M/s S. M. Yaqoob