Workers Oppose EOBI’s Devolution

MANSEHRA: Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF) General Secretary Zahoor Awan said on Saturday that if the Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution (EOBI) was devolved under the 18th Constitutional Amendment, workers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan would be deprived of their pensions and other benefits.

The PWF organised a session to sensitise journalists on the critical issue of laboureres working at industries in the country, particularly in KP and Balochistan. “Unlike KP and Balochistan, annual contribution of Punjab and Sindh provinces is Rs9 billion,” Zahoor Awan said.

He added that the 18th Amendment, which was incorporated in the Constitution in 2010, would result in devolution of EOBI to the provinces. “Though provinces and federation are yet to fulfil their obligations in this regard, it may cause a big problem for the labourers across the country if the devolution is done in haste,” said Zahoor Awan. He said that a labourer working for the last15 years was entitled for the pensions and other benefits but when the EOBI was devolved, his services in different provinces would not be counted.

Zahoor Awan said that currently more than 5 million workers were enjoying pensions and other benefits from the EOBI across the country as 326,853 workers were directly receiving pensions, families of 151,189 were receiving pensions of the deceased workers and 8,537 workers were receiving pension under disability quote.

He said that construction work on 18 model schools for the children of workers/ labourers was underway in various parts of the country and if EOBI was devolved, those schemes might also be affected.

The official said that currently Punjab has been contributing Rs4 billion and Sindh Rs5 billion annually in the workers welfare funds.He said that a total of 4.5 million labourers were registered with the EOBI across the country.

Zahoor Awan said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, through a resolution in December last year, had asked the federal government that it had no funds for the welfare of workers as militancy had affected its economic activities and it would not be capable to run pension and other schemes executed under the EOBI, which came into being through Employees Old-Age Benefit Act 1976.

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