in the news on-line, 18-19 November 2012

05:51:12 local time map of china CHINA

*  Li & Fung expects higher profit growth in 2013:

 Group to shift from manufacturing focus to consumer products market

Li & Fung Group Limited, a supply chain solutions provider for global retail ers, expected profit growth in the second half of 2012 to be better than the first half , forecasting 2013 to be even better than this year.
The company, which held an investment analysts presentation on Thursday, detailed the business performances of its trading, logistics and distribution segments.
read more.

04:51:12 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Workers apprehensive of losing jobs at year end:

Vietnamese workers have never before suffered such a constant anxiety about the jobs like in 2012. The anxiety has become bigger towards the end of the year, when the traditional Tet holiday nears.

The topics of the discussions among state civil servants and factory workers in the last months of every year, is the salaries and bonuses they expect. However, things prove to be quite different this year. The only thing workers strive want now is that they won’t lose their jobs.

Accepting bigger works and lower pay
The redundancy of workers has existed in every field of the national economy, which is in the economic downturn. Therefore, losing jobs is the risk hung over everyone.

Le Thi Chau in Tan Phu district of HCM City said she has to pay 200,000 dong a week more to the babysitter, because she cannot get home soon to take care for the child.
Chau now has to stay at the factory until 8 pm everyday. “The products have been left unsold; a lot of workers have been laid off. Therefore, those who stay, now have to undertake the works of others as well,” she explained.read more.

* Workers struggle to live on salaries:

Nearly 17 per cent of workers complained their incomes are not enough to make ends meet, while over 38 per cent said they only survive on their incomes thanks to very careful spending, according to a salary survey by the Institute of Workers and Trade Unions under the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour.

The survey was conducted in late June and the findings were revealed last Friday at a workers’ conference.
Two thousand employees of 60 companies in 12 cities and provinces, including Ha Noi, HCM City and central Quang Nam Province took part in the survey.

Among the respondents, nearly 21 per cent are university and college graduates, 17 per cent are graduates from vocational schools, 8 per cent received no vocational training and the rest received some training either in vocational centres or in their companies. read more.

04:51:12 local time map of laos LAOS

* Labor Woes Grip Garment Exports:

Laos is struggling to hire factory workers to meet growing demand for its garment industry.

A labor shortage in Laos’ garment sector may prevent the country from meeting its goal of nearly tripling clothing exports by 2015, an industry source said, and the problem is unlikely to be resolved soon.
Garments are the single biggest manufactured export in Laos, but according to an official from the country’s Garment Industry Association, the sector will need to double its workforce to at least 60,000 to meet the target of U.S. $500 million in exports in three years.

The export market for garments in Laos currently draws an estimated U.S. $100-200 million annually, said the official, who spoke to RFA’s Lao service on condition of anonymity.
As of 2011, the official said, Laos was home to around 110 garment factories which employ around 30,000 workers. Fifty of the factories were export-oriented and, in the first six months of 2012, shipped products worth more than U.S. $85 million.
read more.

04:51:12 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Jump in minimum wage worries business:

The private sector has voiced alarm over the government’s policies to cushion the blow from nationwide adoption of the Bt300 minimum daily wage next year, saying the move would only create a burden and dampen growth.

“Although the government has launched 27 measures to relieve the impact of the wage hike, most are inefficient in implementation and will not help most businesses, which are small and medium-sized enterprises,” Bhumindr Harinsuit, vice chairman of the chamber, said last week.

Most enterprises now see only moderate growth for the economy next year, at 4.1-4.5 per cent.

In a survey at the 30th annual meeting of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, business leaders said the government should reconsider the increase in the minimum wage next year, as the repercussions would be more serious than thought. read more.

05:51:12 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Bekasi Raises Minimum Wage to Rp 2.1 Million:

A day after the Jakarta Wage Council set the capital’s minimum wage at Rp 2.2 million per month, the Bekasi Wage Council on Thursday decided to raise its minimum wage to Rp 2.1 million per month, a significant increase from last year’s amount of Rp 1.4 million.

Abudl Iman, the chairman of the Bekasi Wage Council, said on Friday that the new minimum wage takes into account the cost of living as well as other variables, such as food prices, electricity tariffs and rental costs for accommodations.
(…)
The head of the Bekasi branch of the Indonesian Employer Association (Apindo) Bekasi, Purnomo Narmiadi, told Kompas.com that employers were disappointed with the decision and considered the new monthly wage too steep.
read more.

* Concerns Over the Benefits of Higher Minimum Wage:

The Jakarta government is set to increase the monthly minimum wage by 44 percent in the nation’s capital.

But for both workers and employers, concerns abound on the impact of each other’s livelihood.

Tari, 25, who works in Kota, Central Jakarta, said she was concerned that a higher minimum wage would prompt her employer to fire some workers, including herself as she had only been employed for a year.
“Yes, the prospect of layoffs worry me. If I lose my job, my life will become worse than it is today,” she said, adding that she works in administration. But she said that the proposed pay increase would help to support her 1-year-old baby.

“It is very costly to raise a toddler. The cost of formula milk and diapers accounts for almost 40 percent of my current salary,” said Tari, who earns Rp 1.9 million ($197) a month. “My husband and I must compromise other spending in order to meet our basic needs. The increase in minimum wage will allow us to breathe.” read more.

* Citi Sees Industry Shift From Greater Jakarta on High Labor Cost:

Labor-intensive industries could move away from the Greater Jakarta area while capital-intensive industries that require higher skills are already paying more than minimum wages, Citi Research said in a note on Monday.

The Jakarta government is planning to increase by next year the monthly minimum wage by 44 percent in the nation’s capital.
“We noted that all emerging markets are facing the same situation, not just Indonesia. Minimum wages are determined by each regional province and not by central government,” it said.
Citi also noted that Indonesia’s unemployment rate was at an historical low of 6.13 percent in August, and foreign direct investment in Indonesia was expected to reach $23 billion in 2012. read more.

* BetterWorks Indonesia Media Update:

1. Jakarta Council Recommends 44% Minimum Wage Increase.
    Read the full article here.
2. Governor decided 2013 Minimum Wage for Central Java.
Read the full article here (Article in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.
3. 2013, Bekasi Minimum Wage IDR2,0002 million.
Read the full article here (Article in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.
4. Work Relationship: Government allows 2 models only.
    Read the full article here (Article in Bahasa Indonesia)
5. Trade minister gloomy on exports, expects 5% decline.
    Read the full article here.
6. RI’s disabled fight to remove political, rights barriers.
    Read the full article here.
7. Minister of Manpower and Transmigration ask union to educate and train. workers.
Read the full article here (Article in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

BetterWork Indonesia overview.

 03:51:12 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* TUC wants common minimum wage for workers:

Bangladesh Trade Union Centre on Saturday called on the Awami League-led government to amend the Labour Law 2006 and announce a common minimum wage for the workers of public and private sectors.

TUC president Shahidullah Chowdhury said at a rally in front of the National Press Club in the city that the government had committed itself to amending the Labour Law 2006, which was passed by the previous BNP-led government, to make it democratic and worker-friendly.
The Awami League had an election pledge that they would amend the labour law in line with the International Labour Law convention 87 and 98, but it had not been implemented in last four years.
TUC general secretary Wajed-ul Islam Khan said that the low-paid workers were bearing the major brunt of the spiralling prices of essentials.
He called on the government to revise the national minimum wage immediately and announce a common wage structure for the workers of public and private sectors.
read more.

* Tannery workers demanded housing facilities at Savar:

Tannery workers on Sunday demanded housing and other facilities for them at the Leather Industrial Park at Savar.

Addressing a rally at Hazaribagh in the city, they also demanded plots at the industrial park for the associations and organisations related to the sector, including those of leather engineers, chemical traders and leather exporters.
The rally was organised by Tannery Workers’ Union.

Union leaders said the Park at Savar will require about one lakh workers after the relocation of the tanneries from Hazaribagh.
They urged the government to take immediate steps to make sure that all the experienced tannery workers at Hazaribagh get the housing facilities at the industrial park. read more.

* Russian businesses to explore BD apparel sourcing potentiality:

Russian business leaders will visit Bangladesh in December for the first time in a bid to explore the Bangladesh-made apparel sourcing potentiality, industry people said.

They term the visit as a great opportunity for Bangladesh which will help increase the export volume in Russian market as it is yet to be explored fully.
“A high powered and important delegation from Russia will visit Bangladesh by mid-December this year to know about Bangladesh apparel industry for the first time,” first Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Md Hatem told the FE.read more.

* New markets brighten hope for RMG:

The first quarter of fiscal 2012-13 saw a rise in garment exports to non-traditional markets, an encouraging sign for the sector hurt by economic crises at its traditional markets.

Exports to 11 new destinations stood at $527.61 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, up 28.6 percent from the last fiscal year’s $410.12 million, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.
Following the onset of financial crisis in 2007, Bangladesh started looking for new destinations to offset the fall in exports to the traditional markets in the US, European Union and Canada.

Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey are looking to be the more promising markets, followed by Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
Of the total export to the new markets, woven items registered a 30.76 percent rise to $280.61 million, while knitwear, at $247 million, was 26.32 percent higher than last year.

The Russian market, which raked in $16.26 million of exports during the quarter, showed the highest growth.
Turkey, on the other hand, registered a negative growth of 9.21 percent on the back of the 17.5 percent duty imposed by the Turkish government this year on imports from Bangladesh.
Exports to the EU, Bangladesh’s largest garment export destination, fell 0.38 percent year-on-year to $2.89 billion in the three months to September. read more.

* WB survey finds BD lead time higher:

A survey of the World Bank (WB) has found the lead time in Bangladesh much longer than in India or China.

The apparel firms surveyed by the WB cited the inefficiency of the prime seaport in Chittagong as the main reason of the longer lead time affecting the country’s clothing industry.
The lead time means the number of days required for delivery of a product since receipt of the order. read more.

* Bangladesh overtakes Pakistan in weaving capacity:

Bangladesh, counted among the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) of the world, has overtaken Pakistan in textile weaving capacity.

During 2006-11, Bangladesh added 2.830 million spindles and 21,850 shuttleless looms in the textile sector, taking the total number of installed spindles in the country to 8.7 million and shuttleless looms to 28,000, according to the data from the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF).

In comparison, Pakistan has been able to add only about 1.8 million spindles and over 3,100 shuttleless looms since 2005, taking the total installed spindles to 11.9 million and shuttleless looms to 24,000. read more.

* No plan to acquire Hallmark assets:

Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Sunday told parliament that the government had no plan to acquire either the movable or immovable assents of Hallmark Group following alleged embezzlement of huge bank loans by the group.
The minister made the statement in response to a question from Sadhana Haldar. He added that the government had curtailed the authority of the bank branches to buy inland bill purchase and opened a new division called authorised dealer branches inspection and monitoring to stop recurrence of frauds in banking.
read more.

03:21:12 local time map of india INDIA

* Small, medium units in State suffer for want of power:

Forced leisure:Workers idling away at a cotton pressing unit at Pulladigunta in Guntur district, owing to prolonged power cuts.— Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar

Industries opt for ‘Open Access’, a system enabling buyers to purchase power from outside.
The power crisis in the State, for the industrial sector in particular, is set to continue for the days to come.

Even as the industry is expressing serious concerns over the acute shortage of power, the energy utilities have decided to permit the industry to purchase power from other States and private generation units to meet their requirements.
With the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission forecasting an average 40 million units daily deficit till May, the Transmission Corporation is left with no option, but to allow the industry to opt for ‘Open Access’, a system enabling buyers to purchase power from outside, and transfer it using the utility’s transmission network.

Threat of lay-offs
This comes as a breather to the industry, the small and medium enterprises in particular, facing the threat of extended lay-offs. The SMEs which were hit by a 15-day power holiday for a couple of months since August are finding it difficult to secure orders from major industries owing to the acute power shortages.
read more.

02:51:12 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Pakistan to make 31.4 percent gain in textile exports under EU scheme: FCCI:

Mian Zahid Aslam President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) has said that EU has granted 75 items duty-free market access under the Autonomous Trade Concessions (ATCs) till December 31, 2013 of which 26 items originated in Pakistan have been offered under Tariff Regulated Quotas (TRQ) while 49 items have been covered under non-tariff regulated quotas effective from 15th November, 2012 as the package has been notified in the official Journal of EU.

As an increased market access to EU, which is the largest trading partner of Pakistan. Pakistan will make a net gain of 31.4 per cent in export of textiles under the EU Autonomous Preference Scheme, he added. Value of exports for 2011 was $1709 million and under the EU Preference Scheme, the exports are estimated to rise to $2246 million yielding in net increase of 537 million, he added. He asserted that the package will provide real and substantial support to Pakistan’s exports mainly of textile exports to EU. read more.

* Textile sector in limelight as EU package becomes effective:

The textile sector remained in the limelight in stock market this week as the EU Trade Package has gone into effect from November 15, whereas the cement sector stocks were also amongst the top volume leaders due to varying news pertaining to reduction and then recovery in retail cement prices.

The local bourse underwent a consolidation above the 16,000 level and the KSE 100 index closed the week at the 16,198 level, down 0.3 per cent WoW. Average daily volumes improved to 170 million shares, up 0.3 per cent WoW. Foreign interest also declined this week, as foreigners were net sellers of US$0.6m in the market. On the macro front, remittances in October stood at a record $1.37b. Moreover, auto sales figures released during the week for October recorded a decline of 38 per cent YoY and 3 per cent MoM.  read more.

* APTMA warns govt of massive protests across country:

* Gives 7-day deadline to restore uninterrupted power supply to textile industry

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association’s (APTMA) leadership has given a seven-day ultimatum to the federal government and Ministry of Water and Power to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the textile industry otherwise it would take to the roads and hold protest demonstrations.

While addressing a press conference, APTMA central leader Gohar Ejaz and Punjab chairman Shahzad Ali Khan severely criticised the Ministry of Water and Power and said that it was total mismanagement and incompetence on behalf of the ministry. Other leaders were also present at the press conference called after an emergency meeting of the APTMA Punjab executive body at the APTMA House.

Speaking on the occasion, Ejaz said, “The textile industry has been suffering six hours load shedding since the last six months. Since May 2012 we are suffering from load shedding and have closed one of our shifts and are paying full salaries to employees.”

He said, “We have tolerated load shedding and understand that domestic sector is on priority. Now with the change of weather the demand has decreased, but the government has not yet restored uninterrupted supply of power to the industry despite several promises.” read more. & read more. & read more.
   

* Energy shortages hurting industry: APTMA:

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab has threatened to hold strike in case the government failed to restore energy supply to textile industry within a week.

At a press conference in follow up of an emergent general body meeting of the APTMA members at the APTMA Punjab office on Saturday, Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan said energy supply, including electricity and gas, had remained suspended for six hour and 12 hours respectively on Friday, leaving production capacities unattended at the mills.

Chairman APTMA Punjab said the industry would bring hundreds of thousands of textile workers on streets if measures to stop unscheduled loadshedding and sustained gas supply did not take place. He blamed the minister of water and power and his team for deteriorating the industry situation during last six months. He said the industry was facing six hours a day power suspension since May this year.
read more.

* APTMA rejects loadshedding schedule:

‘We have rejected the loadshedding schedule announced for winter gas supply and power describing it unjust and unfair,’ All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) South Punjab chapter incharge Muhammad Anees Khawaja has expressed concern over massive unannounced power loadshedding of up to 14 hours a day and announced to launch protest if energy issue was not resolved within a week.

Talking to journalists here on Sunday he said that entire energy supply system was collapsed due to recklessness of the policy makers and now industry which exporting goods worth $14 billion was sinking and millions of workers jobless due to closure of industry. read more.

* Power, gas loadshedding: leather industry seeks exemption:

President India-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IPCCI) and former President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) S M Munir has stressed the need for exemption to the leather industry from daily power and gas loadshedding.

In a letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Federal Minister for Commerce and Advisor to the PM on Petroleum and Natural Resources, S M Munir said that power and gas loadshedding was the biggest problem faced by the industry, as it was difficult for the industry to process the skins and hides of sacrificial animals accumulated over Eid-ul-Azha.

He said during the current year Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) had accumulated 35-40 percent of all the sacrificial animals’ hides and skins from Lahore, Karachi, Sialkot, Kasur and other parts of the country. According to some estimates, this year around 5.7 million (worth over Rs 6.2 billion) animals were sacrificed throughout the country. Furthermore, he stated that Pakistan was one of the biggest markets of raw hides and skins in Asia and about 30 percent of the total production was generated only on the occasion of Eid. read more.

* Pak textile products in big demand in India:

Pakistan High Commissioner in India Salman Bashir has said there is gradual and significant improvement in the economic and trade relations between Pakistan and India although Pakistan’s view and stance on certain political issues are quite clear.

This, he stated while inaugurating Pakistani Pavilion at 32nd Indian Internal Trade Fair (IITF) 2012 being held from 14th to 27 November, 2012 at Paragati Maidan, New Delhi.
He added that Pakistan’s participation in India International Trade Fair 2012 is a welcome step which reveals that Pakistan’s business community is all set to avail all trade and business opportunities with India. read more.

* EU implements trade concessions package to Pakistan:

The European Union has issued notice for implementation of trade concessions package to Pakistan. The package provides duty-free access for 75 Pakistani products to the EU nations.

The trade concessions package is an effort by the EU to compensate Pakistan for the loss occurred due to the devastating floods of 2010.

Addressing a press conference, Pakistan’s Senior Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim said the EU package is likely to accrue financial benefit of around € 500 million to Pakistan by December 2013. read more.

* No govt uplift plan despite producing best leather:

There is no Leather Development Plan in Pakistan despite the fact that country is leader in tanning technology, producing the best leather in South Asia but due to the government bad polices the sector is facing stagnation in its production for the last six years.

This was observed in a letter to Federal Minister of Commerce Makhdoom Amin Faheem written by Pakistan Tanners Association Central Chairman Agha Saiddain.

While presenting overall scenario of leather sector in South Asia in comparison with Pakistan, the PTA central chairman has urged the ministry to focus on development of leather sector, giving it a ‘priority status’ as the sector has potential to double its exports within next three years. read more.

      THE KARACHI FIRE:

* ‘Baldia bereaved to be given Rs500,000 per family’:

The victims of the Baldia Town factory inferno will be given financial assistance of Rs500,000 per family from the Workers’ Welfare Fund (WWF) by the Sindh labour department, announced Secretary Labour Arif Elahi on Friday.

Speaking as the chief guest at a launching ceremony of training course for families of Baldia Town victims, he said investigation of the tragic incident was complete and to be submitted to the high-ups soon.

Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has commenced the training course in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO). Pakistan Readymade Garments Technical Training Institute (PRGTTI) is tasked to conduct the course.
He further said the government’s strategy was to punish those who were responsible for the incident, rehabilitate the affected families, and devise a plan to prevent such mishaps in future.

The Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (SESSI) will provide affected families with medical facility and the Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI) will give pensions to bereaved families.
The secretary asked the PRGMEA Chairman Sajid Saleem Minhas to arrange the registration of the workers of their member units so that labour department could provide them with medical facilities besides allotting them flats in labour colonies.
read more.

* Workers march in protest:

The members of the Workers Rights Movement (WRM) marched from Regal Chowk to the Karachi Press Club on Friday to condemn the indifference of the government and private sector towards labour rights.

The organisation was formed by labour unions after a fire at Ali Enterprises in Baldia Town that claimed 259 lives on September 11. Nasir Mansoor, a leader of the National Trade Union Federation, complained that industrialists continue to hold their employees in low esteem.
The government does not inspect the factories, which can partly explain the harsh working environment faced by labourers, he added. to read.

* Labour activists demand inspection of factories:

Labour activists on Friday vowed to continue their struggle for the rights of the workers until the government fulfills the registration of factories and restore the procedure of labour inspection in the industries across the country as per the law.

At a protest rally taken out in solidarity with the workers killed in the Baldia factory fire, the activists under the umbrella Workers Rights Movement (WRM), also decided not to sit quiet until the contract system from the industrial sector is eliminated, which they termed as ‘a curse for the laborers’.

The rally began which began at Regal Chowk ended at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) was lead by Usman Baloch, Nasir Mansoor, Jafar Khan, Gul Rahman and others. A large numbers of laborers of different industrial zones, students, political workers, women and human rights associations participated in the protest.

The speakers urged the government to accept the due demands of the familes of Baldia factory fire which they have been making since the day the tragedy struck.
The speakers while addressing the participants of the rally said that sacrifices of the workers who were burnt alive would pave way for the revolution.

They said the greed of capitalists to squeeze large profits and non-implementation of labour laws on industrial sector created this deadly incident of Ali Enterprises in which around 300 labourers were burnt alive.
They said hundreds of workers got serious injuries and thousands of them have been rendered jobless.

They said the state and the government’s departments associated with labour issues have become puppets in the hands of mill owners and the phenomenon has turned the workplaces of labourers into their deathtraps.
The labourers’ representatives said that workers of factories at large are deprived of appointment letters. They said these workers in absence of appointment letters have no access to the rights which they duly deserve under the constitution. read more.

* Three officials granted pre-arrest bail:

A fire truck is being used to remove bodies from the Ali Enterpises factory which caught fire on September 11. PHOTO: FILE

As the scope of investigation of the country’s worst industrial disaster widens to include government quarters, three senior officers facing arrest have obtained protective bail before the Sindh High Court could issue orders.

Initially, police had only booked the factory owners – Abdul Aziz Bhailla and his two sons, Arshad and Shahid – for the deadly blaze at Ali Enterprises garment factory in Baldia Town that claimed the lives of over 250 workers on September 11. The case was registered under murder and negligence charges.

On November 14, the district and sessions court hearing the case had found four government officials – Labour director Zahid Qurban Shaikh, SITE managing director Rashid Ahmed Solangi, Civil Defence additional controller Ghulam Akbar and Karachi Region-II electric inspector Amjad Ali Mahesar – guilty of criminal negligence in the case. Subsequently, non-bailable arrest warrants were issued for their arrest.

To avoid arrest, Zahid Qurban Shaikh, Rashid Ahmed Solangi and Amjad Ali Mahser went to the Sindh High Court for the grant of protective bail before arrest.
On Saturday, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi granted protective bail before arrest to Zahid Qurban Shaikh against a surety of Rs100,000 and directed him to surrender before the trial court within 10 days to join the investigation.read more.

* SITE MD granted pre-arrest bail in factory fire case:

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday granted protective pre-arrest bail to the MD SITE and an electric inspector in the Baldia garments factory fire case.

MD SITE Rasheed Solangi and electric inspector Amjad have been included among other accused in the fresh charge sheet submitted by the investigation officer before the trial court.

The applicant’s counsel, Amir Mansoob Qureshi and Junaid Alam Rizvi, said the applicants wanted to surrender to the trial court and expressed apprehension of their arrest during appearance before the court.
A single bench, headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, after the preliminary hearing, granted protective bail to the applicants against a surety of Rs100,000 with the direction to appear before the trial court. More than 300 workers were present in the factory, Ali Enterprises, when a fire broke out and engulfed the entire building, resulting in the death of over 250 labourers.

Unlawful detention
The SHC issued notices to the federal and provincial governments to file comments on a petition against the alleged unlawful detention of a man by the Rangers.
A petitioner, Sher Rukh Syed, submitted that his son Shahid Hussain went to offer Isha prayers at a nearby mosque in the Peerabad area in September but did not return. He said that he later came to know that his son was arrested by the Rangers and that he would be released after the interrogation, but despite the lapse of three weeks he was not released and his whereabouts were still unknown.read more.

map of Asia

Under “special reports” you can find: an overview of articles about the Garment factory Fire in Karachi (and Lahore).

CHINA
* Li & Fung expects higher profit growth in 2013

VIET NAM
* Workers apprehensive of losing jobs at year end
* Workers struggle to live on salaries

LAOS
* Labor Woes Grip Garment Exports

THAILAND
* Jump in minimum wage worries business

INDONESIA
* Bekasi Raises Minimum Wage to Rp 2.1 Million
* Concerns Over the Benefits of Higher Minimum Wage
* Citi Sees Industry Shift From Greater Jakarta on High Labor Cost
* BetterWorks Indonesia Media Update

BANGLA DESH
* TUC wants common minimum wage for workers
* Tannery workers demanded housing facilities at Savar
* Russian businesses to explore BD apparel sourcing potentiality
* New markets brighten hope for RMG
* WB survey finds BD lead time higher
* Bangladesh overtakes Pakistan in weaving capacity
* No plan to acquire Hallmark assets

INDIA
* Small, medium units in State suffer for want of power

PAKISTAN
* Pakistan to make 31.4 percent gain in textile exports under EU scheme
* Textile sector in limelight as EU package becomes effective
* APTMA warns govt of massive protests across country
* Energy shortages hurting industry: APTMA
* APTMA rejects loadshedding schedule
* Power, gas loadshedding: leather industry seeks exemption
* Pak textile products in big demand in India
* EU implements trade concessions package to Pakistan
* No govt uplift plan despite producing best leather
* THE KARACHI FIRE:
* ‘Baldia bereaved to be given Rs500,000 per family’
* Workers march in protest
* Labour activists demand inspection of factories
* Three officials granted pre-arrest bail
* SITE MD granted pre-arrest bail in factory fire case

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Convention on the Rights of the Child
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I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
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I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
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