ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance has sought a one-year period from the Senate Standing Committee on Finance to submit complete data on ‘ghost pensioners’ across the country.
The issue of fake pensioners was discussed in detail during the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance held here on Wednesday.
On the matter of fake pensioners and further strategy to resolve the issue briefing was taken by the Ministry of Finance. “During the exercise, 6,600 pensioners are not verified on the civil side, but we cannot declare them ghost pensioners till the exercise is completed.”
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The committee was informed that for transparency and to facilitate pensioners, the federal government has introduced a Direct Credit System (DCS) scheme for resolving the issue of fake pensioners.
An official of the Ministry of Finance further informed that in this system amount of pension of pensioner is deposited directly in his/ her bank account, opened in any scheduled bank, including National Saving Centres for this purpose.
Officials said that the military accountant general is sharing data of pensioners, but their pension is quite high and mostly the data is manual. Therefore, the transfer of the pension system to the DCS is taking some time.
Out of total pensioners on the civil side, 71 percent are on DCS while remaining 29 percent are being operated manually. He said similarly 40 percent of military accounts are on DCS and 60 percent are non DCS.
He said that as per this system if a pensioner drawing pension fails to submit a life certificate or fails to undergo biometric verification during the months of March and October or a pensioner does not draw pension for consecutive six months, the account shall become dormant. The chairman committee deferred the matter for further report and inquiry.
Briefing by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) on its working, budget, expenses, organisational structure and their performance was also taken up. It was briefed that the role of the CCP is to foster competition in all spheres of economic activity and to protect consumers from anti-competitive practices.
It was also briefed that the budgeted expenditure including budget for four regional offices is Rs1,660,702,927 and total budgeted income is Rs540,000,000 with a deficit of Rs1120,702,927. The federal government has also allocated Rs100 million as grant to the CCP.
However, the officials of the CCP lamented the slow processing of the cases related to economic concerns and urged support and cooperation.
In this regard, the officials pointed out that the courts give stay orders on all such matters and the cases remain pending.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023