ISLAMABAD

The government on Saturday announced to increase the pension of Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution’s pensioners by 46 per cent to Rs 5250 from Rs 3600 per month.

“The government has decided to increase to the EOBI’s pensions to Rs 5250 from Rs 3600, which would be effective from April 1, 2015. The annual impact of the decision will be Rs 6.67 billion”, said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while addressing a press conference. He further said that federal government and EOBI would equally bear the overall impact of Rs 6.67 billion.

Under this decision, 3,3700 pensioners and their families would be benefited. The EOBI pensioners, comprising of individuals retired from semi-government and private sectors, had been denied the benefits of a minimum Rs6, 000 monthly pension, announced by the government in June last year. The PML-N government in its first budget 2013-2014 had enhanced the minimum pension to Rs 5000 from Rs 3000 and then to Rs 6000 in the second budget. However, the EOBI pensioners were deprived of receiving minimum pension of Rs 6000.

Finance minister informed that assets of the EOBI would be transferred to the provinces according to the constitution and law after the 18th constitutional amendment. Similarly, paying pensions to the pensioners is also responsibility of the provinces, he added. He further said that one of the provinces, without naming it, had filed petition against the devolution of EOBI to provinces in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which is likely to take up it in May. The federal government would present its stance in the apex court, he added.

Ishaq Dar informed that Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) would hold the talks for the seventh economic review under extended fund facility in Dubai from May 1 to May 10. The Fund mission would visit Islamabad after concluding the talks, he said and added that government has completed its homework for the review.  He said that all political parties would be taken into confidence over China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). On a question, finance minister said that government would summon the meeting of the political parties’ heads after the return of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from London to give briefing on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). There would be 101 per cent transparency in the project, as “Transparency is the name of the game”.

He reiterated to sign Charter of Economy as like Charter of Democracy by all political parties for the economic development of the country. He said the visit of the Chinese President reflected confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

 The finance minister said during his visit to the United States, multilateral institutions appreciated economic policies and programmes of the present government.