EOBI chairman regrets investing in energy projects

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"Efforts of EOBI gone waste for investing in various energy projects due to bureaucratic red tappism and attitude. FCCI would be given representation on EOBI Board of Trustee," said Zafar Iqbal Gondal, Chairman Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI), while addressing to the members of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI). He advised local EOBI offices to hold regular meetings of Advisory and Dispute Resolution Committees to avoid misconception and resolve the problems faced by the business community of FCCI. He said that less EOBI contribution would be accepted if the number of workers varied, adding that investment proposals for various projects of electricity generation were made by EOBI to the government in the past but unfortunately, those could not be get through due to bureaucratic red tappism and attitude.

Giving details, he said EOBI offered to invest Rs 15 billion for Bhasha and Tonda Dams but it could not get through by Wapda. Similar was the fate of investment by EOBI for import of LNG from Qatar, he stated. He said that according to the EOBI by-laws, investments were being made in construction of three-star hotels in different cities of Pakistan.

He further elaborated that agreement had been signed with Nadra and Easy Paisa service would also be offered for quick delivery of pensions to the EOBI pensioners. He admired the employers' positive role for paying EOBI contribution due to which EOBI funds had increased to Rs 250 billion from Rs 149 billion in a short span of three years when he took over the charge as Chairman EOBI.

Earlier in his welcome address to Chairman EOBI, President FCCI Mian Zahid Aslam said industrial units in Faisalabad were facing tough business conditions in its history, top of which was the severe loadshedding of electricity and curtailment of gas for 68 days which had now been provided two days a week reducing production to 50 percent of its capacity.

He said the cost of industrial inputs and utility charges along with minimum wage, EOBI and Social Security contributions and other government levies had raised the cost of production too high to continue the production process. He apprehended that such deteriorating situation might result into down-sizing in the industries and unemployment flood in the area which could aggravate the law and order situation.

He urged the Chairman EOBI to stop harassment created on the plea of record checking and to accept the EOBI contribution under the prevailing circumstances in the industries, freeze the arrears of the industrial units and amnesty be given to the arrears along with penalties to the units already closed.

He continued that new assesses be explored instead of burdening the previous ones, regular meetings of EOBI advisory and dispute resolution committees be held, fixing 30th as the last date for receipt of contribution and representation to FCCI be given on Board of Trustee of EOBI.

He appreciated the measures taken to improve the management and operational structure by the Chairman in the EOBI system wherein computerisation of workers' record was launched to ease the pension benefit process. However, he urged for removing some irritants and flaws for further improvement.

Director General EOBI Farooq Ahmed Khan; Mian Azhar Majeed Sheikh, Vice President FPCCI; Chaudhry Muhammad Boota, Vice President FCCI, Abdul Sattar Alvi, Chairman FCCI, EOBI Committee; Engr Rizwan Ashraf, Chairman APTPMA; Haji Muhammad Ramzan, Member Executive Committee; Haji Talab Husssain, Rana Sikandar Azam Khan and Nadim Ashfaq Puri shared their views on the occasion. At the end of meeting President FCCI Mian Zahid Aslam presented FCCI shield to the Chairman EOBI.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

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