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Pakistan Observer

Published Date: Nov 20, 2012

SPEAKERS STRESS FOR UNIVERSAL SOCIAL SECURITY COVERAGE

Speakers at a seminar on Monday expressed concern over meagre allocations on social sectors like education, health and poverty alleviation and underlined the need to have a increased investment on social sector to provide universal social security benefits to the vulnerable population. The seminar on “Realising the Rights to Social Security: Towards New Solutions” was jointly organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) at a local hotel.

Dr. Saba Gul Khattak, former Member Social Sector, Planning Commission of Pakistan; Dr. Pervaiz Tahir, former Chief Economist; Dr. Nadia Tahir, Associate Professor in Economics at University of Lahore; Taseer Alizai from International Labour Organiation (ILO) were the main speakers of the seminar. Ms. Zeenia Shaukat from PILER moderated the proceedings and maintained that government priorities can be gauged by the fact that per head social security spending is Rs. 10 and defence expenditure per head is Rs. 3100.

Dr. Saba Khattak underlined to have a political consensus of all the political parties on the social protection for all schemes. She She deplored that in the past social protection schemes were introduced by various political governments, but the next governments scrapped them because of lack of coherence in these schemes. She underlined the need to strengthen the architecture of all the social protection institutions available in the country like Employees Oldage Benefit Institution (EOBI) and Workers Welfare Fund. She said coverage of these institutions is limited.