ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that 62 percent increase in the Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution’s (EOBI) old-age pension by the present government only within a year was another step towards building Riyasat-e-Madinah. “Our government has increased the EOBI’s old-age pension by 62 percent: from Rs5,250 to Rs8,500 within a year. This helps us provide pensioners security in their post-retirement years,” he said in a tweet.

“Much of this contribution comes from improving the institution itself. Another step towards Medina Ki Riyasat,” he maintained.

30PC INCREASED ANNUITY FROM JAN 1: ZULFI

Earlier, addressing the inaugural ceremony of ‘Ciniplex and Commercial Complex’ here on Thursday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari said the New Year was heralding big news for the pensioners of Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) as the government had decided to raise their annuity by 30 percent from January 1, 2020.

Says it’s another step towards Riyasat-e-Madinah

“After the increase, the EOBI pensioners would receive Rs 8,500 per month,” he added. He said in this connection the ministry would move the summary at the next meeting of the federal cabinet for the final approval. The SAPM said the PTI government, in its efforts to give more relief to the pensioners, had twice increased their annuity during just one and half years of its tenure. He said the government had already enhanced the minimum pension of the EOBI’s insured person from Rs5,250 to Rs6,500 during 2018.

“We are intending to raise this amount up to Rs15,000 by the end of our tenure (2023),” Bukhari said.

The SAPM said the ministry had managed to invigorate four EOBI mega projects within first year of the PTI government, besides starting the construction work on two of them. “The two projects, namely 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 rupees were pending in courts, adding these legal issues would be resolved soon.

The SAPM said work on many EOBI projects was standstill when the PTI took the power.

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 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 total 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. The SAPM further said the digitization of EOBI was in progress, 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 the 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 at the cost of Rs3 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 Rs3 billion. The chairman said that 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 the EOBI, to enhance their pension fund so that the relief could be passed on to them.

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