Sir: The major issues of the retired employees of the PIA that are yet to be resolved on a priority basis include substantial increase in pensions, payment of group insurance amount and restoration of the 50 percent amount of commuted portion of pensions to those who have completed 10 years of their retirement. Needless to mention, if PIA increases pensions substantially, it would not affect its revenues as that increase will come from the readily available Pension Trust Fund.
Meanwhile, a delegation of PIA Retired Employees Association (PIAREA) (Registered) met the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PIA and discussed with him the genuine problems of retired PIA employees. The CEO assured the delegation members to resolve their problems soon after getting approval in the PIA Board of Directors meeting. However, it was strange to note the Board’s meeting held recently but the said case was not presented in the meeting despite CEO’s categorical promise.
During the last 12 years, PIA’s first and last increase in pensions was made effective from April 1, 2013. That was an insufficient increase considering the meagre amount of the pensions, which are not enough to even pay a normal single utility bill of a family. PIA’s Circular No. 21/2003 dated July 31, 2003 says whenever salaries of PIA employees are increased, the PIA pension would also be increased accordingly but sorry to say PIA management did not implement its own Circular so far.
Further, the discrimination that retirees have faced and the way their lawful rights have been denied to them by the airline’s management must change. PIA retirees should be given their legal rights on a priority basis, including sufficient increase in their meagre pensions to face high inflation, without further waste of time.
MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL