The meeting of theSenate Standing Committee on Information Technology andTelecommunications was held on Thursday. Chaired by Senator Rubina Khalid, the meeting was attended by Senator Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Taj Muhammad Afridi, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq, Senator Dr.Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi and senior officers from the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, PTCL and Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Trust. Senator Imamuddin Shouqeen was a special invitee.
The Committee was informed that as per the latest decision of the Supreme Court relating to the petition of 343 retired PTCL employees, who had not been getting pension increase as per the policy of the Government, payments of arrears amounting to PKR 175 Million had been made and a compliance report has been submitted to the Court as on 3rd March, 2018.
The Committee was told that the pension liability of PTET was PKR 114 billion, fundsize was PKR109 billion, Annual pension payment was PKR 8.3 million and annual income of fund was PKR 7.1 billion. The Committee was further informed that the cash implication of granting the pension to the pensioners as per policy of the Government would be 39.1 billion. It was revealed that PTCL will need to make payment of the above amount to the trust if payment is to be made to the PTET pensioners.
Reviewing the presented statistics Senator Imamuddin Shouqeen was of the view that this is an extremely serious issue as we see people who have dedicated their lives to the service of this country being deprived of their lifelong savings at a crucial stage of their lives
Chairperson Committee, Senator Rubina Khalid stressed the need for alleviating the troubles of pensioners and said that her head hung in shame to see the plight of these people. She asserted that it is important that the Committee take a final decision regarding this issue today.
While deliberating over the financials that were presented to the Committee, Senator Rukhsana Zuberi was of the view that the organization has the funds and that now it is time that the Committee is informed about the schedule of payments. She added that as per the decision of the Supreme Court PTET has to pay pensions to all pensioners without delay.She said that all that the Committee want that money should be dispersed to all affected pensioners. The Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Mr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that he was committed to resolving this issue as soon as possible to alleviate the plight of pensioners. He assured the Committee that he will leave no stone unturned in doing so and requested time so that he can come back with a solution. The Committee decided that this matter will be taken up in the meeting scheduled to be held on 2nd January, 2019.