Senate body seeks details of EOBI’s disputed properties

ISLAMABAD: A Senate committee on Monday directed the Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI) to submit details of disputed properties EOBI had purchased during the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government 2008-2012.

The Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development held a meeting at the Parliament House with Senator Anwarul Haq Kakar in the chair.

Reviewing the expenses and disputes of the EOBI, Senator Shahadat Awan inquired about the details, including the current valuation of the disputed properties.

EOBI Chairperson Naheed Shah Durrani informed the committee that it was quite difficult to assess the current value. However, in 2013, an evaluation was conducted through Nespak and its details will be submitted to the committee.

Senator Awan informed the meeting that according to the EOBI statement the total expenses were around Rs1.97 billion per year but details of expenses had not been provided.

Moreover, in the previous meeting, officials had stated that final challan had been filed against all the accused and a summary had also been submitted to the cabinet for change of the board of directors.

When contacted, former EOBI chairman Zafar Gondal, who is at the centre of these disputed properties, told Dawn that bureaucracy had been misleading the Supreme Court as well as parliamentarians.

“I have requested several times the sitting federal minister Sajid Turi and other officials to call me to the committee meeting to disclose the facts. But they are not inviting me in order to hide the facts,” he said.

The EOBI board 10-year-old whereas according to EOBI Act it is mandatory to renew it after every two years, Mr Gondal said.

“They don’t want to change the board because they are afraid it would disclose the secrets,” he said.

Giving details, he said 18 properties worth Rs34 billion had been purchased out of which Rs24bn properties were with the DHA.

Mr Gondal said he had also written twice to the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to provide me an opportunity of hearing to disclose full details of these properties but I am still waiting for a response.

The meeting was attended by Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt, State Minister for Law and Justice Senator Shahadat Awan, Senator Rana Mahmoodul Hassan, Senator Prince Ahmed Omer Ahmed Zai and officials of the EOBI and the ministry.

The committee chairman asked the EOBI and overseas Pakistanis ministry to submit all required documents in next meeting.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2023