ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed on Tuesday that sacked staffers of the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) had fled with vehicles worth Rs480 million.
The revelations were made during the PAC meeting with Khusheed Shah in the chair. The PAC chairman directed the authorities to recover the vehicles and submit a report.
EOBI had purchased vehicles worth Rs480 million and given them to the newly appointed officials on loan. The Supreme Court, however, declared the appointments illegal and subsequently the officers were dismissed along with the vehicles.
EOBI Chairman Sualeh Faruqui said the vehicles had been given to the employees on loan under an initiative of the then board of governors to improve recovery of the EOBI “that no doubt improved in that particular year”.
The chairman said the EOBI had assets of Rs300 billion but its resources were depleting due to a rising number of pensioners. “The EOBI can survive till 2027 under the prevailing situation,” he added.
He said former EOBI chairman Zafar Gondal, financial adviser, financial officer, former director general and other staffers were either behind bars or under investigation in the case regarding the purchase of 18 properties at exorbitant prices. The EOBI had spent Rs34 billion on scandalous purchases.
The EOBI chairman said after the 18th Amendment, subjects of welfare of labour and old-age pension, etc., had been deleted from the concurrent list.
Giving reasoning of fewer recoveries from the employers, the chairman said the EOBI Act requires actuarial valuation of the EOBI fund and assets after every three years. However, the previous regimes had taken the issue of revision of minimum wages as a political decision, he added.
Responding to a question, the EOBI chairman said no new investment was made in the recent past.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2016.
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