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24th April 2019
HARASSMENT TO INDUSTRIES WILL NOT BE TOLERATED,
ASSURES CHAIRMAN EOBI AZHAR HAMEED
Chairman, Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution Azhar Hameed has assured the industrialists that harassment to industries in the name of inspection will not be tolerated while EOBI is fully committed to facilitate payments of EOBI contribution by the industries.
He was addressing the Members of SITE Association of Industry as Chief Guest the other day on his visit. He was accompanies by high officials of his department.
Welcoming the Chief Guest, President SITE Association Saleem Parekh stressed the need to resolve litigation matters amicably and requested Chairman EOBI to withdraw demand of arrears payments of previous years as the order was implemented from retrospective effect. He suggested to introduce an amnesty-like scheme for the industries and added that it will not only encourage employers to make payments of EOBI contribution but also result in more collection at the EOBI end.
Mr.Parekh also requested Chairman EOBI to clarify legal standing of EOBI in post 18th Amemnent scenario and drew his attention towards harassment by EOBI officers in the name of record checking / inspection and demanded to stop harassing industrialists forthwith. He said that situation is still not clear about minimum wage on which, EOBI contribution is paid.
Mr.Azhar Hameed replying to queries raised, said that amnesty-like scheme to encourage payment of EOBI contribution can be considered. Reforms are being introduced in the EOBI and positive development will be made soon. He offered to give nomination to SITE Association of Industry in the Board of Trustees of EOBI and added that it will help in redressing grievances of industries expeditiously. He also suggested to nominate a Focal Person from SITE Association to work as point of contact between the industries and EOBI.
Giving his views on the devolution of EOBI after 18th Amendment, Azhar Hameed said that it will create lot of issues for workers if EOBI is declared as a provincial subject because large number of workers in Karachi come from other provinces and a considerable 30 percent share of pension is trans-provincial. We are working to ensure that pension procedure is completed in 45 or earlier as per provisions of law.
On contribution payment, Azhar Hameed asked industries to make payment from 2016 onwards on the minimum wage of 13,000/-. Giving pension benefits details, Azhar Hameed said that by end of current financial year, EOBI pension payments will touch 35 billion mark. EOBI is also working to lower our revenue losses by revitalizing investment projects.
Regarding inspection & audit, he said that audit parameters are being reviewed which will be shared with industries. E-portal services and system data are also being improved. In next few months, almost 80pc data of EOBI shall be corrected. A New system for Employee registration will be introduced in next few months. We want partnership with industries to achieve a win-win situation.
Speaking on the occasion, Patron of SITE Association Zubair Motiwala said that since EOBI has sufficient funds available, it should consider suspending payment of EOBI for few years to give some relief to industries. EOBI fund should be used for workers welfare only and in this regard, SITE Association is ready to extend every support to EOBI.
Former Chairman of SITE Association Younus Bashir also spoke on the occasion and said that increase or decrease in the number of workers in the factory can be assessed by checking utilities bills of industries. This move may help in improved contribution for the EOBI. He demanded to ensure that no notices are issued to industries on unjustified complaints stating that EOBI is not a tax, it’s a contribution. He also drew attention of Chairman on the illegal activities of so-called labour leaders which were harassing industries by misguiding their workers in the name of EOBI benefits.
Chairman EOBI, SESSI & Labour Committee Touseef Ahmed presented a brief on the issues & problems faced by members of the Association which in particularly included non-receipt of EOBI cards, cumbersome & lengthy procedure for getting pension, demanding unnecessary documents etc. Members of the Association present in the meeting also briefed the Chairman on their specific issues which were satisfactorily answered by him. As a gesture of goodwill, Association’s crest was presented to Azhar Hameed.
Issued for favor of publication in your esteemed newspaper.
Dr. Syed Azhar Ibne Hasan