PM, CMs to resolve issue of WWF, EOBI devolution




A special meeting is likely to be convened under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and to be attended by the provincial chief ministers, relevant federal ministers and secretaries to resolve the outstanding issue of devolution of Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) and Rs 300 billion Employee Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) Fund to the provinces.

An official source said the meeting would decide the fate of the EOBI Fund, which was being eyed by Punjab and Sindh while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan were vehemently opposing its devolution. Main collections of EOBI Fund are from Punjab and Sindh whereas collection from other two provinces is very small but they get billions of rupees worth disbursement from the fund.

The government had formed a committee headed by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar to give recommendations to resolve the issue. The committee recommended that the administration and assets of WWF and EOBI must not be devolved in line with the decision of the constitutional committee for implementation of 18th Constitutional Amendment.

It recommended that the constitutional petition of Punjab in the Supreme Court against the decision of the amendment must be opposed by the federal government to defend the decision of the constitutional implementation committee. Till the decision of the court a stay application against the enactment of Sindh Workers Welfare Fund 2014 and EOB 2014 Acts must be filed.

It also directed to carry out current actuarial evaluation of EOBI Fund. The revised actuarial valuation must be obtained to stop the continual deterioration and subsequent bankruptcy of the fund. Immediate steps recommended by actuaries must be taken to bail out the fund from an immediate bankruptcy.

The source said the recommendations of the committee were submitted to the Council of Common Interests (CCI). However, Law Division argued that the post devolution issues of EOBI and WWF did not come within the purview of CCI. Therefore it was decided to convene a meeting under PM to resolve the issue.