Pajhwok Afghan News

Retirees suffer economically; want IEA to pay their pensions

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some retired government employees have complained about economic problems and asked the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government to pay their pensions as they are entitled to this right.

They said after the takeover by the IEA they did not get their pensions. according to them the pension amount was already deducted from their salaries which should be now paid to them.

Mir Farooq Hashami, the resident of Nasarabad locality in Maidanshahr, the provincial capital, said he is 70 year old, worked for 40 years in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and retired seven years ago.

“In the past, I was a general director, but now people don’t know what I do and how live is going, I lay at the corner of a room and searching for 10 afs to find.”

“The pension was cut from our salaries every month, it is our right which should be given to us, now that the government did not give us our pension we could just wait and don’t have any other option,” he said.

Hashemi said retired people could work and were unable to ask other people for help as well therefore they bear the hardship of life.

Palwasha, 63, from the Kart-i-Chahar locality of Kabul City, said she was a teacher and retired five years ago.

“For thirty-six years I taught the children of our land and performed the sacred duty of a teacher, five years ago I got retired and after the takeover of the IEA I did not get my pension,” she said.

Palwasha said she has a son who lives a separate life and her husband was disabled.

“I am worried about day to day expenses and food, I can’t work and there is nobody who can work for me as well, I search house to house to wash clothes and earn something for livelihood,” she said.

Mohammad Rasoul, 69, from Kandahar province, said: “I worked in the Public Works Department for 48 years but now I can’t work to earn dried bread, me and my colleagues who performed government jobs now have no money, we can’t afford our treatment as well.”

He said due to economic problems he sold many house materials but he never understood that why his pension was restricted.

He added: “Pension is already cut from our salaries, it is our right, believe me we have nothing at home, we are wondering what will finally happen, we want now our pension when we die then we don’t need it.”

Sangar Afandi, head of the Afghanistan Retirees Association (ARA), told Pajhwok Afghan News currently the number of retired personnel in the country reached 170,000.

The said pension had already been deducted from salaries and the purpose of this deduction was to support these personnel after retirement when they get old, become poor or face the difficulties of life.

He said for the past three years retirees did not receive pensions, many government institutions, including the prime minister’s offices were informed in this regard but nobody heard their voices.

“I have personally met with key ministers and officials several times, I have explained to the IEA the problems of the retirees, and I have conveyed all the problems of the retirees to them, In addition to Kabul, I spent 12 days in Kandahar City to meet Shaikh Saib and to convey the problems faced by the retirees, I could met Shaikh Saib may be because of his busy schedule or there would be some other matter, I came back to Kabul shared our proposals and complaints here.”

Afandi said: “With due respect, I request and beg the IEA government to give us our pension rights, it is our legitimate demand, the amount is our own which the government had collected and deposited in the bank, I want my money from the government nothing extra.”

Pajhwok strived to get fresh views from the relevant officials in this regard but was unable. Earlier, Zabihullah Mujahid, the IEA chief spokesperson, said that problems related to the retirees’ law had been resolved and pensions would be issued to retirees.

On May 1, the IEA leadership in a decree asked the Ministry of Finance to stop the deduction of pension from the military and civilian personnel salaries, the ministry was also asked to provide a report regarding the present employees in the IEA office, their joining date and deducted amount under pension.

The Ministry of Finance told BBC that the issue of the previously retired personnel was separate and no decree was issued regarding them.



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