RETIRED employees of the National Bank of Pakistan are availing themselves of the facility of the benevolent fund grant worth Rs1,620 a month, with their pension.
This facility is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of their retirement.
This grant was introduced by the bank in 1988 in the line of State Bank of Pakistan rules and regulations.
The grant was revised by the bank vide its head office circular No 20/93 dated 21.3.1993 and came into effect for all retired employees on or after 1988.
Since the date of revision of the benevolent fund grant, authorities of the bank have given no attention to make further increase in the amount, realising the present high cost of every essential commodity.
The present amount is just to defeat the norms of justice and ground realities in an era of galloping inflation and hampering relationship between body and soul like anything.
After many appeals and reminders by retired employees, as well as by representatives of the association/union, bank authorities had promised to make revision of the grant and in this connection a committee was to be framed for consideration, keeping in view the present situation.
Despite this, no effective action has been taken by the management and it seems that the matter has been kept in cold storage, ignoring the misery and helpless cries of pensioners.
The following were the glittering promises of the management, results of which are still being awaited
First, promise under para 19 of head office instructions circular No. 66/2002 dated 28.2.2002 “Revision of Benevolent Fund Grant Facility on retirement and/after death will be examined in the light of the present policy of SBP employees, and decision will be taken later on.”
Second, promise undertaken vide para 15 of head office instructions circular No24/2005 dated 1.2.2005 “The demand raised by the NBP Officers Association regarding enhancement in benevolent fund grant, and pension will be discussed separately.”
Third, promise undertaken vide para 10 of head office instructions circular
No. 54/2006 dated 10.7.2006 “The request of the NBP Welfare Officers Association regarding pension formulas for calculation of gross pension and enhancement of benevolent fund grant will be discussed separately.”
Fourth, promise undertaken vide para 14 of head office instructions circular
No. 15/2008 dated 15.2.2008 “The demand raised by the NBP Officers Association regarding revision of pensions formula for calculation of gross pension and enhancement in benevolent fund grant has been taken up and will be resolved in three months.”
It is a pity that the bank management, as well as the NBP Officers Association and the Union, has not taken any action regarding it so far.
It is also brought to the notice of the management that Habib Bank has recently enhanced this facility from Rs2,000 to Rs2,500 a month for all its retired employees, which will remain effective till death.
Therefore, we request the chairman/president of the bank to pay attention to this deserving issue of the retired employees of the bank and activate the standing committee, if any, to revise the amount of benevolent fund grant from Rs1,620 to Rs2,500 a month for all retired employees, irrespective of their designation, with effect from 1.1. 2002 as per head office instructions circular No 66/2002 dated 28.10.2002 and redress the grievances of the retired pensioners.
MAHMOOD A. MINHAS
(An ex-vice president, NBP)