Railways in Pakistan
The Ministry of Railways is facing serious financial difficulties in disbursing pensions to its employees and has requested Rs. 9.8 billion from the government for this purpose.
The Federal Ombudsman, Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, formed a Monitoring Committee under the leadership of Muhammad Ayub Tarin, Senior Advisor and former Additional Auditor General, to evaluate the implementation status of pension reforms after receiving complaints from various ministries about the delay in pension disbursement by AGPR.
The committee also convened the AGPR, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of National Health Services, Federal Directorate of Education, and Association for the Welfare of Retired Persons (AWRP) to discuss how the pension payment process could be further simplified to benefit pensioners.
According to Tarin, the pensioner and their family members are still facing significant financial difficulties as a result of delays in the finalization of pension cases. The AGPR representative stated that, despite the fact that Pension Cells had already been established in all Ministries and Divisions under the direction of WMS, there were still lapses in the submission of pension cases.
However, in family pension cases, pension payment is delayed due to legal issues such as the declaration of legal heirs, non-availability of the widow’s bank account, and eligibility of family members. The AGPR promised to finalize the pension cases within 30 days of receiving the documents.
The AGPR also stated that they have begun automating service statements/service books on the SAP system, which will allow for the early finalization of pension claims.
The Ministry of Health Services informed them that there is no pending pension case with them. The Ministry of Railways informed that they are facing serious financial problems in the disbursement of pensions to their employees and have requested the government to provide Rs. 9.8 billion for this purpose, with all pensioners’ dues being cleared as soon as the funds are received.
The Finance Division assured full cooperation in the delegation of powers for pension approval from the PAO/Federal Secretary to the BS-21 officer. The Ombudsman directed all Ministries/Divisions to make every effort to assist pensioners in completing the necessary documents for the grant of a pension upon retirement. He also directed that the Monitoring Committee on the Implementation of Pension Reforms meet on a monthly basis.