The Pensioner Bondholders Forum has suspended its protest at the Ministry of Finance after reaching an agreement with the Ministry on the payment of overdue coupons and principals.
The Forum, which represents pensioners who were exempted from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, had been protesting at the Ministry for five days in a row, demanding the payment of their arrears. This led to a meeting between the two parties and a commitment from the Ministry to start paying the pensioners from May 15. The Forum said in a statement that it would resume its protest if the Ministry failed to honour any of the terms of the agreement. Here is the full statement from the Forum:
STOPPING PROTEST AT THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE
- We wrote a letter to the Finance Minister on 30th March 2023, asking him to pay all our overdue coupons and principals by 21st April 2023, and to ensure timely payments of future coupons and principals.
- When we wrote our letter of 30th March 2023, which we copied to the Speaker of Parliament, there were thirteen (13) overdue coupons and two (2) overdue principals, with some of them being overdue for thirty-eight (38) days.
- We warned in our letter of 30th March 2023 that if our situation was not resolved by 21st April 2023, we would have no choice but to protest at the Ministry again to demand our payments.
- We met with the Ministry on 14th April 2023 and gave them an extra week until 28th April 2023 to sort out our payments.
- The Minister did not pay us anything by 28th April 2023, so we notified the police and started our protest on 8th May 2023.
- On Friday, 12th May 2023, which was the fifth (5th) day of our protest, we met with Hon. Mohammed Amin Adam, the Minister of State of the Ministry in the afternoon and agreed on the following:
i. The Ministry to instruct the payment of all overdue coupons (including those due on 15th May 2023) to pensioners by 15th May 2023.
ii. The Ministry to pay future coupons to pensioners on due dates.
iii. The Ministry and Pensioner Bondholders to meet soon and agree on the payment of all overdue principals to pensioners.
- Based on the agreement with the Ministry on paying our overdue coupons and principals, we are hereby stopping our protest from Monday, 15th May 2023.
- If the Ministry breaks any of the agreed terms, we will protest at the Ministry again.