ISLAMABAD, Dec 12 (APP):New year is heralding big news for the pensioners of Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) as the government has decided to raise their annuity by 30 per cent from January 1,2020 .

Addressing ‘Ciniplex and Commercial Complex’ inauguration ceremony on Thursday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari said after the increase, the EOBI pensioners would receive Rs 8,500 per month from January, 1 next year.

He said the ministry would move the summary regarding the increase at the next meeting of federal cabinet for a final approval.

The SAPM said the PTI government, in its efforts to give more relief to the pensioners, had twice increased their annuity in just one and half year’s tenure.

He said the government had already enhanced the minimum pension of the EOBI’s insured person from Rs 5,250 to Rs 6,500 during 2018.

The EOBI pension has been enhanced by 62 per cent since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government came into power.

“We are intending to raise this amount up to Rs 15,000 by the end of our tenure (2023),” Zulfikar Bukhari said.

The SAPM said the ministry had managed to invigorate four EOBI mega projects within first year of the PTI government, besides launching the construction work on two of them.

“Two projects including Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) Tower and Ciniplex and Commercial Complex will be leased out by February, 2020 to generate additional revenues for EOBI pensioners,” he added.

At present, he said 18 projects worth billions of rupee were in litigation, adding these legal issues would be resolved soon.

The SAPM said work on many EOBI projects were standstill when the PTI took the power.
Zulfikar Bukhari said the revival of sick projects would enable the government to help raise the pension amount up to Rs 15,000 per month.

He said around 65.1 million formal and informal labourers were currently working in different sectors including factories, industries, fields, workshop, media and other sectors.

“Only 8.1 million formal labourers, out of 15 million, are registered with EOBI,” he said and added the inclusion of informal workforce would be ensured under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said the digitization of EOBI was in process and would be completed within three months that would help bring transparency in its affairs.

He said previous regimes had destroyed the institution by appointing their blue-eyed ones who looted public money.

He said the ministry had introduced multiple reforms in the EOBI to resolve devolution issues, confronting the institution and expedited efforts to save one of the biggest funds of the country from depletion.

Referring to Ciniplex and Commercial Complex project, EOBI Chairman Azhar Hameed said the project was launched several years ago with Rs 3 billion and could not be materialized in stipulated time period due to certain reasons.

He vowed to complete the said project within the allocated cost of Rs 3 billion. The chairman said the construction work on two more mega projects would be initiated by February, 2020 and would be leased out in the same year after their completion.

He urged the employers, registered with EOBI, to enhance their pension fund so that the relief could be passed on to pensioners.

Azhar vowed to project EOBI positively by ensuring efficiency and pro-pensioners initiatives in the days ahead.