PTI accused of making no efforts in 22 months to run PSM

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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came into power with a promise to turn Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) into a profit-earning entity, but during the last 22 months of its tenure, the PTI government has not made a single serious attempt to run the PSM. It was the incompetence of the government that it did not appoint a CEO for the steel mills during this period and did not appoint a director of finance which proves that they were determined to destroy this most important institution. NasirMansoor of National Trade Union Federation said that the government has set up a “Board of Directors” for the steel mills, not a single member of which was related to the steel industry and does not have any technical ability. The chairman of the PSM is a man who is an American citizen and his interests are linked to the mafia that destroyed the steel mills. Even today there were more than 16 billion finished slabs in steel MILLS stores and there was very valuable scrap which was being stolen day by day. He further said that the government had violated prevailing labor laws by unilaterally announcing the dismissal of 9,350 workers without due process. The Ministry of Industry, under pressure, forced the rubber stamp board of directors to decide the dismissal of the workers then sought Cabinet approval. No notice was issued to the workers in this regard and no reply was sought from them. It was illegal under labour laws to close a company without declaring it bankrupt. Mansoor added that unfortunately like pervious governments PTI government had also bowed to the steel import mafia and the “Steel Mills Consortium” that once tried to buy the steel mills for pennies, had once again become active and had had the support of some influential cabinet ministers and advisers, including RazzaqDawood of Ayesha Steel. ArifHabib, owner of Hubco, also wants to take over the steel mills in collaboration with Al-Tawarki steel owners. AkberNarajo of Convener Pakistan Steel Trade Union Alliance said that Abdul JabbarMemon Chairmen Steel Mill wrote a letter to federal government on 18th March 2019with approval of board of directors requested to appoint CEO and technical director to start the mills, the letter also mentioned that some influential in the government and bureaucracy were hurdles in the way of smooth functioning of the PSM, in response to the letter RazzaqDawood, advisor to the PM had terminated Abdul JabbarMemon from the post of Chairman on 28th March 2019. He said that steel Mills, which was a for-profit company till 2008, had been the victim of conspiracies for many years. The steel mills was planned to be sold for Rs 21 billion rupees at a time when its stores had Rs 12 billion worth of finished goods, Rs 11 billion in account, while 19,000 acres of land, Steel Town spread on 850 acre and 650 acres of unutilized land were an additional assets. The Supreme Court of Pakistan had taken Sou-moto action in 2009 on the irregularities and scams in the steel mills which was still pending in the court.