Withheld dues: LHC summons finance secy over unpaid pensions

Retired persons were to start getting payments from July 1, 2015

Our Correspondent October 03, 2016
Retired persons were to start getting payments from July 1, 2015. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court summoned the provincial finance secretary on Monday over several identical petitions filed by senior citizens, seeking arrears of their pension.

LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah was hearing the case when a law officer sought time from the bench to file the schedule of the payment of he arrears.

At this, the chief justice said the court had already given enough time and issued orders for the finance secretary to be summoned before the court on the next hearing date, which would be fixed by the registrar.

The court has given directions several times for the payment of the pension arrears. Last year, the additional finance secretary submitted a notification, stating the pensioners would start receiving the withheld pensions from July 1, 2015, but the orders were not followed.

The pensioners counsel, Advocate Safdar Shaheen Pirzada said the government had defied court orders by using delaying tactics, as seemingly it had money to construct bridges and roads, but not to pay the pensioners.

Over this, the chief justice said the court could not stop the government from constructing bridges and roads but it would make sure that its orders were implemented.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ordered the provincial and federal governments to pay the pensions. Later, some pensioners in Punjab requested the LHC to get the top court’s order implemented.

On December 20, 2014, the chief justice ordered the provincial government to submit a plan for the payment of the due pensions. He told the petitioners to approach the court in case they were not given a plan.

The chief secretary then submitted a plan, stating the government was committed to paying the arrears of Rs28 billion to the pensioners under the head of gratuity and other allowances until June 30, 2015.

The finance department issued a payment schedule, under which arrears to employees retiring until July 1, 1991, were to be paid between February 1 and February 28, 2015. To those retiring until June 30, 1994, the payment was to be made between March 1 and March 31, 2015 while the payment of arrears to the employees retiring on November 30, 2001, was to be made from April 1 to May 31, 2015.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2016.


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