Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azher Thursday said that the government had decided to privatize the Pakistan Steels Mills (PSM) as it had become a “white elephant” and was huge burden on the national exchequer.
He said the PSM employees were not working for last many years and now they would get financial package of around Rs2.3 million per employee as compensation besides they could also contribute to productivity in private sector.
He was addressing a press briefing here along with PSM Chairman Amir Mumtaz and Managing Director Sher Alam.
Hammad Azher said PSM turned from a profit making institution to loss in 2008-09 during tenure of Pakistan Peoples Party government and its operational works were shut down during Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government.
He said that at one stage PSM had 30,000 employees out which many employees had been retired and now there were around 9000 employees in the mill.
He said PSM was closed for last five years and previous governments could not devise any plan for it. The minister said that government had to spend Rs55 billion to pay the salaries to employees of a closed mill.
He said that when they came into power the Pakistan Steel Mills was facing a loss of Rs176 billion and its interest was also increasing day by day.
Hammad said that the previous governments could not handle this issue therefore the present government had to take final decision about the fate of the mill in larger interest of the country.
Hammad Azhar said with this decision, the government would save Rs700 million of hard earned taxes of people of Pakistan per month. He said that Supreme Court also said that why government was paying to the workers of a closed mill.