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Pakistan: LHC seeks report from Fisheries & Labour Dept over protection of fisher folk October 11,2018   |  Source: Daily Times

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday asked the Fisheries & Labour Departments to show what measures they were taking to protect Punjab’s fisher folk from debt bondage. The court was hearing an application from the Fisheries Department asking for the vacation of the stay granted against the auction of leases on Punjab’s public waters. The challenge has been rejected pending a further hearing on October 24, 2018. Main case proceedings will begin on November 29.

Asking for a vacation of the stay, the assistant advocate general argued that that the stay was against the rules of the Fisheries Department and the interests of the government. He also argued that it would result in a loss of Rs 100 million in revenue. The government lawyer argued that the existing rules of the Fisheries Department provide a complete mechanism for fishing communities. He said that the existing department rules of fishing allow fishing communities to apply for fishing licenses, which they had not done so. He also argued that the petitioners had not used the existing mechanisms of redressal by not applying for fishing licenses and not asking Bonded Labour Vigilance Committees to improve their conditions.

The lawyer for the petitioners, Syed Ghazanfer Shah, argued that there were around 600,000

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)