ISLAMABAD: The federal ombudsman has directed government departments to settle all pending cases of pensioners and submit a compliance report to the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat within 30 days.
The ombudsman, Salman Faruqui, issued the directive while chairing a meeting for the resolution of pensioners’ issues at the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat on Monday. The meeting was attended by representatives of 67 federal government departments.
He told the representatives that their respective departments should submit the pensioners’ cases to the Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR), which must decide them within 30 days.
“The process of all pension cases must be initiated six months before the employee retires and completed on the day of retirement,” he said.
Mr Faruqui was of the view that a person who renders his whole life to a department should be given respect and the best way to acknowledge his services is the timely payment of all dues.
The ombudsman also stressed the need for an external oversight committee to address the frivolous objections raised by the AGPR that result in the delay of pensions.
He added that an automated system must be introduced to connect all the departments to share pensioners’ records.
Stressing the need to improve the pension process, Mr Faruqui referred to the death of a railways pensioner while he was standing in a long queue at a bank. He said the incident had left an indelible impression on his mind after which he had decided to address the issue of pensioners on an urgent basis.
AGPR accountant-general, Hafiz Tahir, told the meeting that the department had initiated several reforms to improve the pension process.
He added that capacity-building programmes had been initiated in all departments to improve the skills of employees preparing pension cases.
Courtesy : Dawn News