ISLAMABAD;(APS) December 28, 2016- Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage has directed M/o Information to take up the matter of grant of pensions to the retired employees of Pakistan National Council for Arts (PNCA) and Lok Virsa with the M/o Finance and report back to the Committee within one month. The Committee met under the Chairmanship of Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla, MNA in PNCA, Islamabad this afternoon to discuss calling attention notice moved by Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani regarding nonpayment of pension to retired employees which was referred to the Standing Committee.
The Executive Director, Lok Virsa briefed the Committee that pension scheme for retired employees of Lok Virsa was initiated in 1997 and discontinued in 2014. She further informed that the scheme was discontinued due to exhaustion of the available funds since large number of senior employees retired and were granted pension and pensionary benefits/commutation at the rate of pension admissible to the civil servants. She informed that the pension to the retired employees had not been discontinued and were being paid pension at the rate approved by Lok Virsa Board of Governors. She informed that some of the employees approached Court asking for pension at the rate of pension granted to civil servants, which was still pending for decision. She informed that employees of the Lok Virsa entitled to Medical Facilities and provision of House building advance.
The Director General, PNCA apprised the Committee that PNCA had taken up the matter of grant of pensions to its retired employees with the M/o Finance through M/o Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage and the case was pending with the M/o Finance for decision. He informed the Committee that PNCA had enough resources to grant pensionary benefit to its employees subject to approval by the M/o Finance. He informed that PNCA employees were entitled to medical facilities and house building advance.
The Committee decided to discuss the issue in its next meeting with the direction to Lok Virsa and PNCA to pursue the matter with the M/o Finance. The Committee also directed management of both the organizations to explore possible venues of funds generation to fulfill their mandate instead of relying on government grant. The Committee also asked the M/o Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage to invigorate the Artist Welfare Fund for extending financial assistance to the destitute artists. The Committee also recommended to the government for transferring of Pak-China Friendship center and Arts and Craft village to the PNCA.
The meeting was attended by MNAs, Malik Shakir Bashir Awan, Mr. Muhammad Tallal Chaudry, Mian Muhammad Farooq, Mr. Waseem Akhtar Shaikh, Ms. Parveen Masood Bhatti, Ms. Arifa Khalid Parvez, Ch. Muhammad Tufail, Mr. Murad Saeed, Dr. Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon, Ms. Naeema Kishwer Khan, Secretary, M/o Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Executive Director, Lok Virsa, Director General PNCA and other senior officers of the concerned departments.