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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Railways is facing serious financial problems in disbursement of pension to its employees and has requested the government for provision of Rs 9.8 billion for this purpose.

The Federal Ombudsman, Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, taking cognisance of complaints against delay in disbursement of pension by AGPR by various ministries, constituted a Monitoring Committee under the supervision of Muhammad Ayub Tarin, senior advisor and former additional auditor general to evaluate the implementation status of pension reforms. Further to figure out as to how the pension payment process could be further simplified to facilitate pensioners.

The committee summoned the AGPR, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of National Health Services, the Federal Directorate of Education and Association for the Welfare of Retired Persons (AWRP) for this purpose.

Tarin said that the pensioner along with their family members are still facing great financial difficulties due to delay in finalisation of pension cases.

The representative of the AGPR informed that although under the directions of WMS, Pension Cells have already been established in all ministries and divisions but still lapses were noted in submission of pension cases.

However, in family pension cases, payment of pension is delayed due to some legal issues i.e. declaration of legal heirs, non-availability of bank account of the widow and eligibility of family members. The AGPR assured to finalise the pension cases within 30 days from the day of submission of documents.

The AGPR further informed that they have started automation of service statements/service books which are on the SAP system and it would facilitate early finalization of the pension claims.

The Ministry of Health Services informed that no case of pension is pending with them. The Ministry of Railways informed that they are facing serious financial problems in disbursement of pension to its employees and have requested the government for provision of Rs9.8 billion for this purpose and soon as the funds received, all dues of pensioners would be cleared.

The Finance Division assured full cooperation for delegation of powers for approval of pension from PAO/Federal Secretary to BS-21 officer.

The Ombudsman directed all ministries/divisions to ensure maximum facilitation of pensioners in completion of required documents for the grant of pension on retirement. He also directed to hold monthly meetings of the Monitoring Committee on implementation of Pension Reforms.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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