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ISLAMABAD: The government will “refrain from granting any further increases in salaries and pensions beyond those in fiscal year 2024 quarter one (Q1), and these items will remain within their fiscal year 2024 appropriated limits.”

This was pledged in the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff and contained in the documents released on the first review of the Stand-By-Arrangement uploaded this Sunday.

The government clerks staged a protest on 18th January 2024 calling for a 10 percent further increase in the disparity reduction allowance by 70 percent and medical, conveyance and house allowances by 100 percent for grades 1 to 16.

IMF denies it plans to ask Pakistan to raise taxes on salaries

Chief Coordinator, All Government Employees Grand Alliance (AGEGA), Rehman Ali Bajwa while talking to Business Recorder said that they would resist pension amendments and provision of disparity allowance to the employees of grade 1-16.

He further stated that a summary was moved by the Finance Division for pension amendments and claimed that comments of the Establishment Division, Ministry of Interior and Law and Justice Division are being solicited on the proposed pension amendments.

According to the proposal, the federal government employees will be entitled to a gross pension determined at 70 percent of average pensionable emoluments drawn during the last thirty-six months of service prior to retirement inclusive of penalty on early retirement.

He added that a government employee may opt for early retirement after putting in 25 years of service however, the employee shall be liable to a penalty of three percent per year reduction in gross pension with effect from retiring year till the age of superannuation.

A family pension, after the death of dis-entitlement of the spouse, shall only be admissible to remaining entitled family members for a maximum period of 10 years. In case of Shuhada Pension, the maximum period for entitled family members will be 20 years after the death or dis-entitlement of spouse and

in case of disabled/special children of pensioner, the family pension shall remain admissible for life of such children.

The federal government employee shall have the option to commute maximum of 25 percent of his gross pension against existing 35 percent at the time of retirement on the terms and conditions prescribed by the federal government.

In an event where a pensioner of the federal government is reemployed/appointed in public service after retirement whether on regular/contract basis or whatsoever mode of employment, the pensioner shall have the option to retain either pension or to draw the salary of said employment during the currency of that employment.

In the event where a person becomes entitled to more than one pension, such person shall only be authorized to draw one of the pensions.

Annual increase in pension shall be granted as percentage of Consumer Price Index (CPI) for that particular year provided that annual increase in pension for that particular year shall not be more than 10% and that in events of annual inflation above 10%, the federal government may authorize Adhoc Relief for pensioners which shall stand abolished upon reduction of inflation to normal level.

Bajwa said that the AGEGA would resist the proposed pension amendments and would stage a sit-in in case the government did not pay heed to their concerns in this regard.

He also demanded implementation of the recommendations of the Pay and Pension Commission to increase the disparity reduction allowance of grade 1-16 employees by 70 percent and medical, conveyance and house allowances by 100 percent.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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