ISLAMABAD             -           Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) Chairman, Azhar Hameed Sunday said that the present management has successfully achieved a set target of Rs21 billion through recoveries and contributions, helping pensioners to get double relief before the Eid-ul-Azha. The EOBI would release an amount of Rs2.4 billion by this month-end to pay the pensioners increased annuity along with the outstanding dues of three months, he told APP in an exclusive interview. “Each retired employee registered with the EOBI will get increased pension of Rs8,500 coupled with Rs6,000 arrears of three months (April, May and June). In total, Rs14,500 will be transferred in bank account of each pensioner before the Eid-ul-Azha.”

Highlighting the present management’s initiatives which led to improvement in financial health of the EOBI, the chairman said the department had made tireless efforts to bring significant increase in its recoveries and contribution.  Azhar said the EOBI revenue collection stood at Rs18.23 billion during the fiscal year 2017-18 which witnessed increase of 15 per cent and ballooned to Rs20.7 billion in fiscal year 2018-19. “We have successfully achieved target of Rs 21 billion set for the 2019-20 fiscal year,” he noted.  Additionally, he said the EOBI had ramped up its efforts to launch ‘EOBI Sahulat Card’ by the current month-end for providing up to 10 per cent subsidy to its around 8 million insured persons and pensioners on purchase of staple food from the utility stores.

An agreement to this effect has recently been signed between the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and Utility Stores Corporation (USC) for launching the facility by the next month-start, he added. Azhar said the ‘EOBI Sahulat Card’ initiative would be launched by early next month (August). “In a first, there will be a soft launch of initiative and hundreds of people would be provided the card.”

Later, the EOBI would start issuing cards to all of its beneficiaries, verified by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). He said the initiative was meant to provide five staple foods such as wheat flour, oil, rice, grains and pulse to the EOBI beneficiaries at the subsidized rates. Commenting over both the initiatives of the EOBI for providing relief to the pensioners, Shahid Sygel, an EOBI pensioner, said the steps taken by the government for the EOBI pensioners were a true manifestation of the promise made by Prime Minister Imran Khan for transforming the country into Medina-like state.

 “We hope that the government will fulfill its vowed promise to raise the EOBI pension to Rs15,000 by end of its tenure,” he added.