Islamabad: Finance Minister, Senator Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting at the Finance Ministry Thursday to consider pension reforms in the federal government. He said that the objective of the PML-N Government is to simplify and fast track the process of pension disbursement to the retiring government servants.
He said, “We have seen that the pension cases are not submitted by the respective departments in time despite active follow-up by the pensioners.”
Mr. Aquil Raza Khoja, General Manager Punjab Pension Fund who was also present in the meeting informed that the objective of the Fund is to generate revenue for the discharge of the pension liabilities of the Government of Punjab. Moreover the purpose of this initiative is to revamp and upgrade the old system of processing of pension cases of the retiring government servants.
The new system envisages replacing the existing manual system of disbursement of monthly pension through treasuries or National Bank of Pakistan.
The Finance Minister observed that the Punjab Government has adopted a good business model to ease out and facilitate future pension liabilities but does not include complete reformation which the government intends to introduce. He said that we need to have a robust and complete reformation in this regard and same model should also be followed by the federal and provincial governments.
The Finance Minister said that efforts should be made to introduce new smart cards for pensioners so that they can get their pensions through the ATMs. The Minister said that he will not allow government functionaries to create problems for the pensioners and the government must simplify the pension procedure and seek single page information from pensioners.
The Minister directed that a transparent system should be devised to simplify the form, decrease the time required for approval and withdrawal of pension by the pensioners. He asked the authorities to consider use of IT devices for pension withdrawal; it will also avoid the cases of fraudulent ghost pensioners which frequently come up.
The Finance Minister said “The new retirees, who have served till 1st July 2014, will get their pensions from direct credit system. Their pensions will be credited directly to their pay accounts to make the system convenient for the freshly retiring person.
It will also save the people from undue delay by the government authorities and making the system transparent and hassle free, he added. It was also decided that the Finance Secretary will present a report on proposed pension related reforms in a two weeks time for consideration and report to the Prime Minister.
The meeting was also attended by Dr. Waqar Masood, Finance Secretary,
Ms. Farah Ayub Tarin, CGA, Rana Assad Amin, Advisor to Finance Ministry, Mr. Shahid Mahmood, Additional Finance Secretary/SA to Finance Minister and senior officials of the Finance Ministry.