The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday constituted a committee comprising the Sindh chief secretary, local government secretary and others to explore the possibilities of resolving the longstanding issue of the payment of pension to retired Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) employees.
The direction came on petitions of retired KMC employees with regard to the payment of their outstanding pension dues. KMC Administrator Iftikhar Shallwani filed a statement along with a proposal of settlement of outstanding pension dues payable to the retired KMC employees and also submitted a list of 23 retired employees of the KMC who have to receive an amount of Rs.19,095,478 payable to them on account of pension.
A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar observed that it had been admitted by the KMC that it was liable to pay an amount of Rs4246.999 million to its retired employees and an amount of Rs191.149 million was required by the corporation for meeting the monthly shortfall in the pension fund account.
The high court observed that such proposal was not compliant of the order of the court as it contained only the facts due to which the KMC was facing actual financial crises. The SHC observed that the KMC administrator had submitted that the KMC did not have sufficient funds for the settlement of the said liability or even to pay monthly salary to its employees.
The administrator submitted that the KMC was unable to settle the subject liability of pension unless a bailout package in the shape of a grant was given by the Sindh government. He submitted that a grant in aid was received on a quarterly basis but the same was not sufficient to meet the above requirements and sometime the grant was not received in full.
He further submitted that in addition to the KMC Building situated on MA Jinnah Road, which was a heritage building, and hospitals and amenity parks, several other properties were owned by the KMC. The high court directed the administrator to submit details of such properties.
The SHC observed that all the parties had agreed that pension was a fundamental right of the retired employees which could not be denied or delayed on any ground whatsoever. The bench observed that it would be appropriate prior issuing any direction that a committee be constituted to explore the possibilities to resolve the payment of outstanding dues and modes of such resolution.
The SHC observed that the committee shall consist of the advocate general Sindh, chief secretary and local government secretary and it shall submit its report wherein concrete proposals and recommendations including the bailout package in shape of grant to the KMC by the Sindh government shall be made for definite and expeditious solution for settlement of the subject liability by
The high court issued notices to advocate general, chief secretary, local government secretary and others for submitting a compliance report by December 16.