RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Post has distributed Rs21.5 billion to more than 650,000 military and family pensioners in the two weeks, in the second phase of pension distribution at people’s doorsteps.

Rawalpindi Circle has so far paid 80pc of the pensioners.

Teams of operational staff, assistant superintendents, headmasters, postmasters, clerks and security personnel have been working to provide this service to elderly military and family pensioners during the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson from the Pakistan Post said that despite difficult conditions, including the weather and fasting during Ramazan, most of the targets for home pension payments have been met.

Staff across the country have been delivering two months of pension payments to elderly pensioners in remote areas, in anticipation of Ramazan and Eid, instead of requiring that pensioners visit post offices.

As of May 7, the Rawalpindi Circle - which consists of six districts in north Punjab - has distributed pensions to more than 200,000 people and completed 80pc of their work.

The Islamabad Circle - which consists of the federal, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan regions - has distributed pensions among 79,000 people, while the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Circle in Peshawar has completed 68pc of its work by paying 116,000 pensioners.

Central Punjab, including the Lahore Circle and Wasialkot and Faisalabad regions has paid 231,000 pensioners (64pc), as has the south Punjab Circle in Multan which has paid 56,700 pensioners. Balochistan Circle in Quetta has paid 1,241 pensioners (85pc) while the Karachi Circle has paid 5,697 (73pc) pensioners and the Hyderabad Circle and Sukkur region have paid 24,356 pensioners (78pc).

The spokesperson said operational teams are working to meet their targets as soon as possible.

However, like in the first phase of this project, there are several issues including incomplete pensioners’ addresses or an absence of addresses in records. On some occasions, upon arriving at the recorded address staffers discover that the pensioners live in other districts or areas, but efforts are being made to correct and complete pension retirement data on newly received forms, he said.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2020