The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, has announced that the Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) pensions will be increased to Rs. 10,000 next year.
He stated this at a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, adding that “efforts are afoot to further increase the pension to Rs. 10,000”.
The SAPM said that the government is sincere with pensioners as it had previously increased the amount from Rs. 5,250 to Rs. 8,500, and that it intends to make the EOBI’s pension equal to the minimum wage in the future.
He also displayed a chart of the EOBI’s fund collection to claim that the collections had been Rs. 10.4 and Rs. 15.5 billion during the tenures of PPP and PML-N respectively, and had increased to Rs. 23 billion during the first two years of the PTI government despite the pandemic.
The SAPM also vowed to increase the collection of funds to Rs. 25 billion by next year.
Responding to Saeed Ghani’s allegations of an unconstitutional seizure of the Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) and EOBI, Bukhari said Ghani has been trying to hide the Sindh government’s corruption by leveling such baseless allegations.
Bukhari mentioned that the Supreme Court had taken a suo moto notice of PPP’s corruption in the purchase of 18 EOBI properties and misuse of its funds.
He said that the provincial minister should come clean on the Sindh government’s corruption, and should stop playing with the fate of poor people and pensioners, noting that its current market value was half of the amount paid at that time.
He further revealed that then PPP minister, Khurshid Shah, had illegally released Rs. 1 billion from the EOBI’s funds to the Sindh government for the rehabilitation of flood victims in the province. However, the funds had been misused.
Similarly, Rs. 250 million from the EOBI funds had been also misused for an advertising campaign. Later, the PPP leaders had made a plea bargain for this case.
Bukhari added that the NAB had seized all EOBI properties due to their corruption, and that the PTI government had managed to release four properties and was working to get back the rest.