Miners work on a coal deposit in Soraj Ganj on the outskirts of Quetta, Pakistan. Image Credit: EPA

Karachi: The Sindh government has decided to launch a drive to register miners working at the Lakhra coalfield of the province to protect their labour rights and to ensure their welfare and well-being especially in the case of any workplace accident.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh to review the affairs related to the welfare of the coal miners.

Sindh Energy Minister directed the officials to make sure that all the companies working in the coal mining sector would register their miners with the relevant labour agencies of the provincial government.

He said the lease and permits of the coal mining companies would be rescinded along with other lawful action in case they showed any slackness in registering their workers.

The minister said the Sindh government had to ensure that workers of the coal mines should get maximum benefit on the basis of the labour laws of the province.

It was decided at the meeting that officials of the Sindh government’s Labour Department, Sindh Employees’ Social Security Institution, Director-General, Mines and Mineral, would meet the owners of the coal mines. The agencies will collaborate with each other to establish a camp for awareness and registration of the workers of coal mines before the upcoming month of Ramadan. The camp will provide the necessary information to the coal miners about their rights and privileges in accordance with the labour laws.

Chief Executive Officer of Sindh Lakhra Coal Mining Company, Toufeeque Ahmed, said that there were up to 30,000 coal miners working at the Lakhra coalfields of Sindh. He said relevant companies would also be urged to spend their corporate social responsibility obligations to work for the welfare of the coal miners.

A total of 285 companies work in the coal mining development sector of the province. Around 195 of them possess coal exploration licences while 90 firms have permits to do coal mining.