Pakistan

KARACHI – The German textile company, KiK Textilien has released an amount of $5.15 million for disbursement among affectees of the Baldia factory fire.

The release of funds was confirmed by the National Trade Union Federation (NTFU) General Secretary Nasir Mansoor on Wednesday.

‘The amount has been transferred to the account of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva’ said Nasir while talking to a leading daily.

He added that consultations are going to start from Thursday (today) to devise a mechanism for distribution of the amount among affected families.

‘ILO Country Directer in Pakistan Ingrid Christensen will hold consultations with affected families on Thursday, with representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in attendance’ Mansoor added.

The funds were transferred under an agreement between KiK and the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) and are to be disbursed among the families of the victims.

The first installment of the compensation amount worth one million dollars had already been distributed among affected families through a judicial commission constituted by Sindh High Court earlier.

Talking about the proposed mechanism of distribution, Mansoor said that the affected families went through a “bitter experiment” while dealing with local institutions for payment of the dues.

He further added the affected families prefer judicial institutions for distributions, instead of governmental organisations such as the EOBI.

Mansoor claimed that the German firm was initially denying  to pay any sort of compensation but later it agreed to pay when the matter was highlighted through media in Germany as the government of Germany also took up the matter.

Although the company is compensating the affected families, it is still detaching itself from the tragedy that took over 250 lives.

It may be noted that as many as 259 laborers were killed in 2012 when the Baldia factory was allegedly set on fire. Investigations into the case led to the arrest of Rehman Bhola who confessed to planning all this.

Reportedly, Bhola made startling revelations during the interrogation disclosing that the factory was set on fire following the order of Karachi Tanzeemi Committee in-charge Hammad Siddiqui after the owner of the factory refused to pay extortion money and declined partnership offer. He said Zubair Charya and other accomplices assisted him.