ISLAMABAD: The Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) pensioners urged the government to increase their pension from Rs 8,500 to Rs 15,000 as announced for last two years.
A large number of pensioners who have given their life and experience to the economic and industrial development of this country are in acute economic and mental duress over not being able to manage the basic needs of life.
The EOBI pensioners urged the government to allow pensioners to live with dignity and honour by increasing the EOBI pension to an amount equivalent to the minimum wage prevailing at any given time. The old people of EOBI pensioners said that the government should also issue health cards to provide them the most critical cover they need in this phase of their lives.
The relevant then special assistant to prime minister (SAPM) had announced on January 1, 2020, that the EOBI pension would be raised to the level of Rs 15,000 per month. Almost two years later, the commitment has not been honoured.
Pension holders of EOBI are waiting for increase for the last two years as they feel that there should be no delay after announcement by the government.
Muhammad Azad of 76 years age while talking to Business Recorder said that Rs 8,500 pension is very minor amount even we could not purchase medicines for one month as the price of medicine has been increased 100 percent.
He said the lives of the EOBI pension holders are in a miserable condition due to price hike in the country. He said that the government should increase minimum pension from Rs 8,500 to Rs 25,000 to fulfill the basic needs of life. He said that we could not meet living expenses, which include food, shelter, clothing, medical expenses, utility bills, travelling, etc.
He said that he inquired many times from the National Bank of Pakistan and the office of the EOBI but they did not give any satisfactory answer. He said that the officials of the Bank told that they did not receive any notification pertaining to pensions of EOBI employees.
He said that the government had announced to increase EOBI pension from Rs 8,500 to Rs 15,000 in 2019 but it did not implement on it so far. He said that the government should fulfill its promise and increase pension from Rs 8,500 to Rs 15,000 per month. He said that the old people of EOBI pension holders hoped from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to increase their pension.
Another EOBI pension holder, Majid Altaf who is 75-year-old said that the inflation is increasing day by day in the country but his pension did not increase for the last two years as announced by the government.
He said that he is unable to purchase medicines and other basic food items due to much lower pension. He appealed to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to increase EOBI pension for giving financial relief to the old people. He also appealed the prime minister to increase the EOBI pension to an amount equivalent to the minimum wage of a labourer.
Muhammad Akbar, 70-year-old, said that Rs 8,500 pension is nominal while price hike in the country is increasing day by day. He said that due to this price hike, he could not pay electricity and gas bills. He appealed the prime minister to increase their pension according to the announcement in Labour Policy, 2010.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022