Bill Tabled in Pakistan's National Assembly to Facilitate Persons with Disabilities

Asia-Pacific, August 22 2016

ISLAMABAD: An amendment bill has been tabled in the National Assembly to provide health care, education, employment and others facilities to approximately eight million persons with disabilities in Pakistan.

According to documents available with Daily Times, there are about eight million people with disabilities in Pakistan and 45 percent of them are children under 18. As per the report, the government introduced a 10-year national policy for the persons with disabilities in 2002 and allocated funds for this purpose. The Ministry of Social Welfare and Women was given the task to enact a law for persons with disabilities, but it could not make any progress in this regard. “The two percent quota allocated for the persons with disabilities in major government departments is not being implemented and wrong replies to questions about employment of persons with disabilities are given in the National Assembly,” the report said.

The report said that persons with disabilities could get only 2,016 of the total 6,110 jobs reserved for them in various government departments. After the legislation, the two percent quota reserved for persons with disabilities would be strictly implemented and action would be taken against the government officials violating the quota.

The report said the government would be responsible for provision of special facilities to persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities would get 75 percent fee concession in government educational institutions and 50 percent concession in private educational institutions. Special seats would be reserved for students with disabilities in all educational institutions.

The report said that persons with disabilities would be delivered their passports, computerised national identity cards, birth certificates and all educational certificates at home. They would be given 50 percent discount in air, train and public transport fare. They would be given relief in import of special vehicles and other physical support tools. They would be given free medical treatment at all major hospitals of the country and 60 percent discount at private hospitals. They would get 30 percent discount at utility stores.

The report said the government would make arrangements for provision of wheelchairs at all public places such as airports, railway stations and picnic spots with financial assistance from Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal.

It has been proposed that parents of the children with disabilities should be given Rs 100,000 each on the marriage of their children. It has been said that Rs 300,000 interest-free loan should be given to persons with disabilities for small businesses. The government would take measures to impart IT education to physically handicapped persons. Persons with disabilities working in various government departments on a contract basis would be regularised and they would be given jobs on merit. Special health counters would be set up at all government hospitals for them. Training centres and facilitation centres would be set up for them at government offices and departments.

A special campaign would be launched through the electronic and print media to highlight the problems faced by the disabled persons. Legislation in this regard would be made at provincial and district level.

Source: Dailytimes

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