LAHORE - The Punjab government has decided not to take over previous liabilities of the federal government while provinces will start performing their responsibilities once in control.

In context of 18th amendment, the Punjab government wants the Employees Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) to be transferred to the provinces, subject to proper estimation of assets and liabilities.

It was decided in a meeting the other day that out of total Rs230 billion of Workers Welfare Fund (WWF), Rs150b still pending with the Islamabad government must be paid to Punjab.

Punjab Labour Secretary Nawazish Ali updated the committee specially devised to look into the after 18th amendment issues on assets and liabilities of WWF and EOBI.

Since 1971, the WWF has made contributions of Rs230 billion out of which Rs 80 billion was spent and Rs150 billion are still with the FBR and AGPR.

The secretary further informed the meeting that the EOBI issue was complicated for the reason that the last analysis of assets of EOBI was made in June, 2012.

However, as per law, the federal government is bound to conduct analysis of the institution in the month of June every year. Therefore, analysis of June, 2015 was required to be made in order to ascertain assets and liabilities of EOBI.

Chief Secretary Capt (r) Zahid Saeed desired that the EOBI litigations should also be enlisted and proper case for taking over the institutions should be prepared. In the meantime, the Punjab government should move for transfer of WWF, he suggested.

According to the chief secretary, the Sindh government had made enactments with regard to these institutions; therefore the Punjab government should also make these amendments along with the efforts of taking over these institutions.

A senior official of Punjab Pension Fund observed that as per analysis of 2012 there was deficit of Rs2.3 million in EOBI which meant that by taking over EOBI the provinces would be buying liabilities.

Finance Minister Dr Ayesha reminded the meeting that it was previously discussed that the liabilities of federal institutions would not be taken up by the provinces, and enactments would be made wherein a cut-off line would be drawn from where responsibility of provinces should start.

The labour secretary endorsed that by introducing enactments the previous liabilities of the institute could be confined to the federal government.

Concluding the meeting, the Chair expressed his concern that the departments in some of the cases had not collected the requisite information of the institutions regarding assets, liabilities and employees of the institutions to be devolved to the provinces.

It was directed that the departments shall prepare proper cases by organising all relevant information, before presenting it to Chief Minister.

In the last hearing, in December 2015, the federal government had registered the view that the case should be submitted to CCI, but the Supreme Court opinioned that CCI did not have this mandate.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had constituted a committee of ten members, including all stakeholders, employees of the institutions and representatives of all the provinces.