ISLAMABAD - Amidst hard-hitting and bold questions from the representatives of various workers organisations about burning issues relating to the welfare of old age people, the Chairman Employees Old-age Benefit Institution (EOBI) Zafar Iqbal Gondal has confessed that the EOBIs unsatisfactory performance is a matter of shame for them. In a country where there are approximately 59 million workers of industrial, commercial and other organisations, the EOBI has registered only three-million, that is shameful for the institution, Gondal observed. Hard spoken but relatively blunt in his views, Gondal, stated this while addressing a seminar organised by EOBI to create awareness amongst its stakeholders about benefits available for its registered employees. When I see the working of EOBI, I get worried. But its relatively better than the rest of developing countries of the region, he said. To a question from a representative of workers organisation regarding the fate of ill-fated workers after handing over of EOBI to the provinces after the abolition of the concurrent list under 18th Amendment, Gondal suggested organised protests against this governments decision in main cities against the devolution of EOBI. Amass your (workers representatives) people at Aabpara Chowk against the devolution of EOBI and I assure you the issue will be resolved or otherwise I will be responsible, he flouted a mad suggestion following a huge round of applause. Quoting another example of corruption to highlight the performance of EOBI under his chairmanship, he said, a labour inspector of Islamabad, took Rs10,000 bribe to provide Rs70,000 on the account of a facility of 'dowry fund for the daughter/s of registered workers. Terming EOBI as the biggest platform to serve humanity in the country, he said, troika of EOBI, trade union leaders and managers of capitalists are exploiting todays labours. He suggested the government to merge EOBI into Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) to provide better services to the workers on one window. Hanif Baloch, DG (South), EOBI while giving introductory speech apprised the audience that EOBI was established in 1976 but people do not have any awareness about the working and benefits, workers could avail through EOBI. He said EOBI provides old-age pension, survivors pension and invalidity pension facilities to EOBIs registered workers. He said workers holding EOBI card become illegible for allotment of presidential plots/housing facilities, scholarships for technical and higher education, and dowry for daughters. He said the institution, EOBI, has made some changes in earlier announced facilities and now survivors of the deceased workers could get pension till their marriage time. He said EOBI holds Rs190 billion funds with 3 million beneficiaries, while 84000 workers are registered with the institution. He said there are 4.4 million applicants waiting for registration. He said EOBI was giving Rs800 million per month to its beneficiaries. Saud-ur-Rehman, Deputy Director, WWF said, We had enhanced the death grant from Rs300000 to Rs0.5 million. He said for the facilitation of the children of workers across Pakistan 50 schools are working. Zahoor Awan, Regional Secretary, Pakistan Workers Federation urged the need of consolidated suggestion for the uplift of labours rather than promises. He said, Though, there are laws for the prosperity of the labours but we need their implementation in true letter and sprit. He said protection of employment is the need of the hour, but nobody was paying heed towards the issue. He said abolition of EOBI would result in loss of labours. He said ZA Bhutto was the only leader of the country who had announced comprehensive 22-point labour policy and thats why he is alive in the hearts of the workers. He also urged the EOBI administration to reduce the administrative expenditure that has enhanced to 20-26 percent of the total cast contrary to the developed countries practice where it is not more than 2-3 percent.