GIS - 04 September, 2013: The Export Processing Zones (EPZ) Labour Welfare Fund will be replaced by the Manufacturing Sector Workers Welfare Fund (MSWWF) by the end of this year. The Manufacturing Sector Workers Welfare Fund Bill has already been passed in March 2013 in the National Assembly for the establishment of the MSWWF.
The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, Mr Shakeel Mohamed, made this announcement yesterday at the Tamil League Hall, Réduit during the 24th Assembly of beneficiaries under the Export Enterprise Scholarship Scheme organised by the EPZ Labour Welfare Fund.
Minister Mohamed explained the rationale of this change which is to provide for the social and economic welfare applicable to workers and their families in the former export processing zones. He further said that the facilities will be extended with better provisions to cover workers in all manufacturing enterprises in specified fields with 10 or more workers, their spouses and children. The Fund would also grant loans and financial assistance conducive for the promotion of the welfare of workers and their families.
The EPZ Labour Welfare Fund, a parastatal body operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment has been set up since 1987. It implements projects, schemes and activities for the welfare of EPZ employees and their families. Every year, through its educational scheme, the Fund awards scholarships to children of EPZ workers based on academic performance to cover secondary, tertiary and vocational courses.
For 2013, in addition to the existing beneficiaries, 112 new scholarships have been awarded to the children of the EPZ employees namely 58 students in Form I to V, 21 for students in Lower six and 33 for students at the tertiary level including those for vocational courses.
The EPZ Labour Welfare Fund has so far implemented some 30 projects for the welfare of its employees and their families ranging from examination loan scheme, computer loan scheme, house enhancing loan scheme, medical loan scheme, marriage loan scheme and other facilities.
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