Pakistan’s pension bill skyrockets to Rs800b: Dar

ishaq dar

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has expressed serious concerns over the mounting burden of pensions, revealing that the annual pension bill has now skyrocketed to a staggering Rs800 billion.

Speaking on the floor of National Assembly, Dar emphasised the urgent need for pension-related reforms, asserting that the current system of pension will soon become unsustainable.

In an effort to alleviate the strain on the country’s finances, Dar proposed measures to tackle the issue of multiple pensions.

He said that government officials in grade 17 and above, who currently receive two or more pensions, will now be entitled to only one pension.

However, officials with a double pension will have the liberty to choose which pension they wish to retain.

The finance minister clarified that if a retired government officer dies, his widow would be eligible to receive the pension.

Similarly, he said should both the government officer and their spouse pass away, their children would be entitled to receive a pension for a period of 10 years.

As Pakistan grapples with the immense challenge of managing its pension burden, the government aims to implement reforms to ensure the long-term sustainability of the pension system.

During the National Assembly session, Federal Minister Ghous Bakhsh Mehr raised objection to the elimination agricultural subsidies highlighting that Pakistan was the only country which was doing away with the facility instead of providing support to the agriculture sector.

Mehr stressed the importance of safeguarding agriculture, which serves as the backbone of the economy, and called for subsidies to be reinstated.

Supporting Bakhsh Mehr’s demand, member Khurshid Shah echoed the need to protect the agricultural industry.

In response, Dar assured the assembly that the issues surrounding agriculture would be addressed collectively after the budget meeting.

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