ISLAMABAD: The year 2020 is bringing good news for pensioners of the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) as the government has decided to raise their annuity by 30 per cent from January 1.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of ‘Ciniplex and Commercial Complex’ on Thursday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari said that after the increase, the EOBI pensioners would receive Rs8,500 per month.
He said the ministry would move the summary regarding the increase at the next meeting of the federal cabinet for the final approval.
The SAPM said the PTI government had in its efforts to give more relief to pensioners twice increased their annuity in just one-and-a-half year’s time.
He said the government had already enhanced the minimum pension of the EOBIs-insured persons from Rs5,250 to Rs6,500 during 2018.
The EOBI pension has been enhanced by 62 per cent since the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government came to power.
“We are planning to raise this amount up to Rs15,000 by the end of our tenure (2023),” Mr Bukhari said.
The SAPM said the ministry had managed to invigorate four EOBI mega projects within first year of the PTI government, besides starting construction work on two of them.
Two projects, including Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) Tower and Ciniplex and Commercial Complex, would be leased out by Febraury next year to generate additional revenues for EOBI pensioners, he added.
At present, he said, 18 projects worth billions of rupees were in litigation, adding that these legal issues would be resolved shortly.
The SAPM said work on many EOBI projects was at standstill when the PTI came to power.
Mr Bukhari said the revival of sick projects would enable the government to help raise the pension amount up to Rs15,000 per month.
He said that around 65.1 million formal and informal labourers were currently working in different sectors, including factories, industries, fields, workshops and media.
Only 8.1 million formal labourers, out of 15m, are registered with the EOBI, he said, adding that the inclusion of informal workforce would be ensured by the PTI government.
He said the digitisation of EOBI was in process and it would be completed within three months and that would help bring transparency in its affairs.
Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2019