The government has resumed its No Strike policy in the area of essential services after a cabinet meeting on June 1. The government also released the notice in the Gazette with the updated list of essential services which includes internet services now. Telecom service was already on the list.
The federal government previously had 22 areas of essential services in its No Strike policy. Now it has included the other three to guarantee the flow of services during the lockdown. The newly added services comprise the services provided by the Department of Consular Services and the Department of Passport, and internet service.
The government executed the ban on strikes with the authority conferred by Section 3 (1) of the Essential Services Operation Act, 1957.
Internet More Important Than Ever
The need for internet has grown much higher since the lockdown last year. As we reel from the second wave of lockdown, we are back to the online medium.
Previously, internet service was not among the essential services. But the government has enlisted the internet as one of them so that strikes wouldn’t disrupt the continuity of the broadband service.
Series of lockdown has forced people to work from home, arrange business meetings, and even run training or workshops online. Moreover, online classes, net browsing, and gaming to run down the time have made the internet an indispensable aspect of daily lives. The latest initiative from the government will guarantee no bar on internet services due to strikes.
The law is already in effect since June 1. The ruling prohibits any form of strike or behavior that comprises the flow of production, transportation, and supply of the listed essential services.
If any individual or group stages strike, the local administration will step in and take legal action. The outlaws will be subject to imprisonment over 1 year or Rs. 1,000 fine or both.
The government has tried to put an end to the transport syndicate with such laws in the past. Now adding internet service into the list of essential services will give it an elevated priority in need. The ruling now exempts internet service from any kinds of strikes or protests that could threaten the flow of service to the general public.
Internet is not a luxury but a necessity. Lockdown has helped us realize the value and potential of the internet. Let’s hope this act from the government will further ensure the public with uninterrupted broadband connectivity even in challenging circumstances.
Are you happy with the government adding the internet to the list of essential services? Or do you believe it should have added other areas of services too? Share what you think in the comments section below.