Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications in its meeting on Friday took compliance status of the directions given in the last meeting regarding the issue of payment of increase in pension of the retired employees of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) payable by the Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Trust (PTET). The meeting was held with Senator Engineer Rukhsana Zuberi as its convener and was attended among others by Senators Kalsoom Parveen, Abdul Rehman Malik, Joint Secretary IT&T, Managing Director PTCL and officials from the ministry and PTCL.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Committee in the last meeting had directed to provide in next meeting its business and investment rules, bank deposit details, the returns of investments from 2 properties on present market price, detail of PTCL contributions as per Act 1996, additional burden of payment on PTET after the VSS in 2008 and payments made to legal counsels in cases. The Committee also directed to provide details of those 343 employees who have missed the benefits and any actions taken by PTET to reach out to them and directed to pay off the remaining pensioners from available funds.
The Committee was told that the number of untraced pensioners has reduced from 84 to 20 after taking a number of steps including utilising the community links, information on website, writing letters. The Committee directed to take fruitful measures to contact the people who are still left through advertisements or through their permanent addresses by involving special branch.
The Committee did not agree with the replies given by the PTCL that the matter is sub-judice and the payment requires approval of the board of trustees as well as additional funding. The Committee in the previous meeting had clearly given the direction to take the matter up at the board of trustees meeting. The detail of payments made to counsels in any and all cases was also not shared. The Committee directed the information to be provided in next meeting. Members also asked to provide complete details of the income of the trust from 2005 to 2018.
The Committee directed to have an exercise to determine actual amount that is due to PTCL and treat the PTET pensioners on the same grounds as all other pensioners are treated. The Committee reiterated once again that the government should take responsibility to ensure that the PTET funds are not depleted and all aggrieved pensioners get their pensions.