ISLAMABAD: The Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI) has cut short its investment in Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) and Special Savings Certificates (SSCs) as it is facing a drought of funds due to withdrawal of Sindh chapter from the network along with a host of other issues.
This was stated by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development in a written reply to a question asked by MNA Naseema Hafeez Paneza during the session of the National Assembly.
The EOBI had to look towards other avenues for investment after the Sindh government enacted its own EOBI Act in 2014, but could not succeed in doing so.
Economic expansion: Govt wants private sector to invest in Pakistan
Since then, the EOBI has been facing a consistent deficit in meeting the payment obligations of pensioners on yearly basis.
With this financial crunch already in place, an addition of 40,000 pensioners every year has increased EOBI’s burden even further.
Karachi, the capital of Sindh, generates around 60% of the total revenue for the national exchequer and with the exclusion of the province EOBI was bound to face financial problems.
According to the ministry’s reply, EOBI cut short its investment in PIBs and SSCs by 80% during 2014 and 2017.
EOBI, finance ministry’s disagreement: Pensioners await the twice-promised increase
It is evident from the fact that four years ago, EOBI had invested Rs106.226 billion in the bonds and certificates, but in 2017 it invested only Rs21 billion and that too in just SSCs.
Of Rs106.226 billion, Rs71.064 billion was invested in PIBs and Rs35.162 billion in SSCs.
According to the available figures, the EOBI made a total investment of Rs237.136 billion during the past five years, of which, Rs146.708 billion was in SSCs and Rs90.428 in PIBs.
The investment made by the EOBI in the ‘equity’ witnessed fluctuations during the said period. The total equity investment portfolio as on June 30, 2017 stood at Rs32.883 billion.
Leaving no one behind
It invested Rs300 million in equities in 2017-18 (up to October 10, 2017) as against Rs200 million in 2016-17, reflecting an increase of 50%.
According to the figures available with The Express Tribune, during the past five years EOBI had been facing consistent deficit every year in disbursement of pension among registered pensioners although its collection from different venues has been on the rise.
So far since 2012-13 till today, the EOBI has suffered a deficit of Rs21.740 billion against the total collection of Rs70.245 billion.
After the 18th Amendment, the Sindh government enacted its own EOBI Act 2014 under which the federal act was repealed in the province.