27,500 PTCL employees to get social security cover by EOBI
(News Report Published in Dawn on Sunday, April 24th, 2016)
Karachi (Monday, April 25th, 2016) – As many as 27,500 assessed employees of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) are going to benefit from the social security cover being given by the Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI) following a decision by the Supreme Court.
The recent apex court decision allows retired employees of PTCL to draw arrears of pension from the time it was incorporated as a company limited by shares under the Companies Ordinance, 1984.
Though PTCL employees are estimated to be around 55,779 with 10,000 engaged as indirect employees, EOBI will give social security cover/pension to registered workers only, EOBI official sources said.
As per the SC’s recent judgment, PTCL will no longer be regarded as a statutory body and therefore has become liable to pay contributions under the provisions of Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Act, 1976 form the date of its incorporation as limited company on January 1, 1996.
Originally Telegraph and Telephone was a federal government department, under Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Act, 1991. Later it was transformed into a corporation and its affairs were entrusted to a board appointed by the federal government.
In the year 1996, for the purpose of reorganising the telecommunication system in the country, the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act, 1996 was passed. It was intended to dissolve the corporation and in its place create five different entities in which the rights, properties and liabilities of the corporation were vested.
Out of these five entities, PTCL was incorporated as a company limited by shares under the Companies Ordinance, 1984, with effect from January 1, 1996.
EOBI in the year 1998 approached PTCL for making contributions in terms of Sections 8 & 9-B of the Employees Old-Age Benefits Act, 1976 form the date of its incorporation as limited company.
Faced with coercive action in the wake of the demand notice, PTCL challenged the demand notice in a Constitution Petition filed under Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
The petition was initially filed in the Rawalpindi Bench of the Lahore High Court. However, after the establishment of the Islamabad High Court, the same was transferred to it for disposal.
The Constitution Petition was eventually dismissed vide impugned judgment dated May 17, 2012.
Aggrieved by the decision, PTCL filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan where it was granted stay, and Civil Petition No 1,299/2012 was converted into present appeal. The judgment of the appeal was announced by Justice Faisal Arab of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.