PTCL Pensioners Issues and Incompetent government
(Published today in Daily Times on September 16, 2014)
Sir: While privatizing only 26 percent of shares of the largest telecom State Owned Entity (SOE) in 2006, all administrative control was handed over to a foreign company by the Government of Pakistan (GOP). The cruelty done to this nation is that all the valuable property has also been transferred to that company from the SOE. And the company has yet to clear its dues according to the bid. The company laid-off about 37,000 employees under the name of a Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS). The GOP and the bidder signed a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) that the rights, terms and conditions of the employees will remain the same as they were before the privatization. Pakistan Telecom Employees Trust (PTET) pension fund was established to disburse pensions to the retired civil servants of Pakistan Telegraphs and Telephone Department and paid all the increments as announced by the GOP till 2009 but deviated from its instructions in 2010 and curtailed the increments announced by the GOP. It has been five years now that some 40,000 pensioners are being cheated by not paying the promised increments. The Ministry of Information Technology (IT), GOP notifications, National Assembly Standing Committee directives, Islamabad and Peshawar High Court verdicts and law ministry opinion show that it is the right of pensioners to receive all increases as per government notifications but the government is helpless and unwilling to implement all these orders. The Minister of State for IT was the most vocal person while in opposition during the last government but is now completely silent. Who will implement these orders to rescue these old hapless people of the country?