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August 23, 2020

OPF stops paying Rs37m profit on CPF

Islamabad

August 23, 2020

Islamabad : Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) has stopped disbursement of Rs37 million mark-up accrued on the Contributory Provident Fund (CPF) to the retired as well as in-service employees notwithstanding the approval of Board of Governors (BOGs).

Some of the OPF employees approached this correspondent to share their deep concerns and alleged the OPF had reversed the decision of gratuity from 3.5 to two basic pays of each completed year of service payable to an employee on his retirement as an end of service benefit in 2017 unlawfully.

The OPF had disbursed the principal amount of CPF of the employer portion among the employees in follow-up of the decision of BOG causing reversal in 2017, but mark up accrued on it was retained by the OPF for unknown reason in violation of rules. They said the matter was taken up with the managing director a number of times in written but no payment of CPF mark up was paid so far.

It is pertinent that the Supreme Court had given directions in a number of cases for immediate payment of end of service benefits to the retired employees in terms of pension or gratuity, but the OPF management is not only violating its own rules, but also not taking into account the clear directions of the apex court.

“This bureaucratic behaviour is also against the resolve of Prime Minister Imran Khan and norms of good governance,” they maintained.

Ex-president OPF Officers Welfare Association and director (retired) Tanvir Hussain told this correspondent that he had been pursuing the matter and writing letters to the managing director for payment of his mark-up with effect from 2015 to December 2019, but no positive action had been taken by the managing director hitherto.

He said eight months had passed since his retirement but his mark-up amount was not paid to him despite repeated attempts.

He appealed to the prime minister, chief justice of Pakistan and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bokhari for intervention and immediate payment of mark-up to hundreds of retired and in-service employees.

This correspondent tried to get viewpoint of OPF MD Dr. Aamir Sheikh but he was busy in a meeting. However, one of his senior officials said, “The OPF is bound to pay the profit in relation to the CPF. However, since March this year, our revenue lines have dried up but the situation is now improving and within a month or so, the process will resume and disbursements will be made.”

When pointed out that under what law or justification, profit on CPF was not paid while corona erupted from March onwards, the senior officer contended that no such thing was done, as the BOGs had already taken a decision on this count not to stop such disbursements.