peshawar     -    Changes in the pension rules of the provincial government have caused ripples in the KP bureaucracy as various unions of government employees have launched a protest campaign against the pension reforms.

Speaking to this correspondent, All Pakistan Clerks Association Provincial President Muhammad Sareer said that given the recent provincial budget, the KP government had decided to pay pensions to the retiring employees on the basic pay scale of the year 2017 and not on the last basic pay of 2022 and onwards.

As per the pre-2022 budget rules, an employee retiring would receive a pension at the rate of his last basic pay. 

“There is a huge difference. As per the pension rules enforced before the 2022 budget, a grade-16 employee having Rs90,000 basic pay would have to be given the same amount as a monthly pension upon retirement. But after July 2022, the same employee would receive almost Rs65000 monthly pension,” he elaborated.

In the recent budget, the provincial government has also introduced a Contributory Pension Fund for all the employees being appointed after the KP budget-2022. Under the plan, the government would deduct 5% from the salary of an employee and also contribute almost 6% from its resources and deposit it each month till the employee retires. Upon retirement, all the money deposited would be paid to the employee.

Sareer said that under the contributory pension fund, the monthly payment would be paid to a retired employee in the future by the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI), and not by the government department, which means the government has done away with pensions of government employees, to be appointed in 2022 onwards.

Discussing the issue, a civil servant in grade 17 said that under the pension reforms, the government had decided to pay pensions to retired employees on the basic pay of 2017 because the scales of employees had been revised in that year.

“If the 2017 rule is followed for pensions to the employees having retired before the year 2022, that is also fine. But applying this rule to the employees retiring after 2022 is an injustice,” he added.

Another senior official in the Civil Secretariat said that the pensions cost the exchequer a huge amount, this is why the government decided to do away with pensions as per the old rules.

“If the pensions and funds continue as per the pre-2022 period for all the employees of government departments, the province might not have any funds for development but all the money would go to salaries, pensions and other allowances,” he maintained.

Meanwhile, when Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra and the Provincial Secretary of Finance were contacted, they did not pick up calls to discuss the issue.