ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 21st july,2016) : The low pensionary amount of Rs. 5250 only per month has multiplied the suffering of the beneficiaries of Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI) especially industrial and mine workers who are finding difficult to meet both ends of life. The pensioners registered with EOBI have demanded of the government to increase their pension from Rs. 5250 upto at least Rs.15000, considering the prevailing price hike situation in the country.
According to the official source, around 40 million industrial and mine workers are depositing Rs. 20 billion to the EOBI on monthly basis and 0.5 million old age employees are receiving pension from EOBI currently. These 40 million industrial and mine workers contribute one percent of their salary while their employers give five percent of their income monthly as secure investment for the old-age, to EOBI. While the current reserves of the institution is around 300 billion, teh source said.
The mine and industrial workers have been depositing shares of their salaries since the year 1976 to EOBI and they started receiving pension of Rs. 800 at initial stages which was raised upto Rs.1200, Rs. 2000 during the then governments and finally Rs.3600 during Pakistan People's Part tenure. The old age workers were expecting that the PML-N led government would raise this amount but instead of fully implementing the announced raise in budget of 10 percent each during 2013-14 and 2014-15, the government only increased the pension upto Rs 5,250 instead of 6000.
Talking to APP, President All Pakistan EOBI Pensioners, Mubarik Hussain Gulshad, said more than 20,000 industrial workers, besides others, are registered with EOBI and receive pension from the institution of Rs. 5,250 per month. He said the government announces raise in pension for all its employees every year in the budget but unfortunately no one is paying heed to the financial problems of the old age EOBI pensioners who are receiving such meager amount as pension to run their households.
Mubarik Hussain Gulshad said "I am suffering from heart disease and high blood pressure and the amount spent on my treatment and medicines every month is more than my pension". He said EOBI is an institution which gets large amount through deducting a specific amount from the salaries of registered employees however it is not paying the sufficient amount to the registered workers as pension. Another pensioner, Ghulam Murtaza who has served in a factory for 30 years said,"the pensionary amount is not issued in time and some times we have to wait for the pensions for many days".
"In every country, the government gives benefits to the senior citizens but unfortunately in this country, it is difficult for the old age people to live a dignified life", he said. EOBI Act 1976 was enforced with effect from April 01, 1976, to achieve the objective of Article 38 (C) of the Constitution, by providing for compulsory social insurance. It extends the benefits of Old-Age Pension, Survivor's Pension, Invalidity Pension and Old-Age Grant to the insured persons or their survivors.