Petitioner seeks reforms in pension payment procedure

Court issues notices to finance secretary, AGPR

Obaid Abbasi August 20, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court issued notices to the finance secretary and the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) on Friday on a petition filed by a lawyer against the pension payment procedure.

Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan issued notices to Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Ahmed Khan and AGPR Shahnawaz Khan and adjourned the case until after Eid vacations.

The petition filed by Advocate Kokab Iqbal has challenged the existing procedure of pension disbursement and sought improvement in it. The petitioner argued that the current system for pensions disbursement in the country is difficult and creates problem for aged people. “The situation is worst for widowed pensioners, as they have to wait for hours to collect their pensions from different banks and post offices,” he maintained.

He contended that the staff also blackmails pensioners at post offices in far-flung areas. He told the court that when the staff demands bribes and are refused, the pensioners have to wait for even longer than routine time, which is unjust.

The petitioner further maintained that thousands of people were getting charity at their doorsteps through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) smart cards, but the retired people mostly senior citizens have not been facilitated.

He urged the court to direct the respondents to provide relief to senior citizens by changing the pension disbursement criteria to function similarly to BISP. After the primarily hearing, the court issued notices to the respondents.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2011.