NA body for timely disbursement of PSM employees’ salaries

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Committee on Industries and Production on Wednesday recommended to timely disburse the salaries and dues of employees of Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM).

The committee suggested that the ministry of industries and production should prepare a structure to pay the salaries and other dues including pensions and other liabilities to the retiring employees on time for at least six months.

“The government has to ultimately pay all the dues, so why it does not disburse funds on time to avoid criticism,” said Committee Chairman Asad Umar.

The committee also recommended to resume gas supply to the mill in order to run at least on its 30% capacity in order to avoid losses.

The committee chairman recommended the ministry to prepare a restructuring plan in collaboration with Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to pay back the outstanding dues of the company.

State Minister and Privatisation Commission Chairman Muhammad Zubair on the occasion informed the committee that currently the payable dues by PSM to SSGC stood at around Rs 35 billion that is why the company had stopped the supply.

Industries and Production Minister Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi said that PSM needs huge funds in order to revamp the mill to take it to the production capacity of 1.5 million ton steel per year. He said there is a need of at least Rs 27 billion to make it on running position.

Zubair said even there would be no guarantee that after disbursement of Rs 27 billion, the mill would start its production so it would be better to privatise it in order to avoid further losses.

However, he was of the view that there were lot of difficulties in selling out the mill as currently it was almost shutdown and foreign as well as local companies were not taking interest in this transaction. He said the foreign companies were also raising objection of over staffing in PSM.

Zubair informed the committee that the privatisation process of PSM would be completed in six to eight months provided that the processes run smoothly.

The PSM chairman said the mill was running at the capacity of 65% in March 2015 but SSGC stopped the supply of gas to the mill, which lead to almost complete shutdown.

He said the mill is 35 years old so it needs proper maintenance and upgradation and it needs Rs 27 billion to revamp the mill.

National Assembly Members Sardar Mansab Ali Dogar, Mian Abdul Mannan. Dr Sheraz Mansab Kharal, Imran Ahmad Shah, Chaudhry Riazul Haq, Maulana Gohar Shah, Iftikharud Din and Ministry of Industries and Production and Privatisation Commission secretary attended the meeting.

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