Minister for Information and Local Government Nasir Hussain Shah has said that steel mill is a national asset and Sindh government would not let it to be ruined, adding that people sitting in federal government wanted to handover steel mill to their close aides.
He was addressing a press conference along with the steel mill trade union leaders at Karachi Press Club on Saturday.
The minister said that the Sindh government was standing with the workers from day one and will continue to fight for protection of their rights.
He said that Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has directed Sindh government to protect the rights of steel mill workers at all costs, following which Sindh Chief Minister has written letter to the federal government on the steel mill issue and raised the issue in the Council of Common Interests, but no positive response has been received from the federal government yet.
He said that the Chief Minister also has constituted a sub-committee of Sindh Cabinet on the issue of Steel Mill comprising Labor Minister Saeed Ghani, Industries Minister Jam IkramullahDharejoLaw Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab and Special Assistant Waqar Mehdi.
The committee has held three meetings with steel mill workers trade union leaders to devise comprehensive strategy to resist federal government’s move.
Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that Sindh government wanted to take control of the mill and run it with partnership of steel mill workers on the line of Thar coal project which was being run successfully under public private Partnership.
Syed Nasir Hussain Shah dispelled the impression that the mill was ruined during the PPP era and added that the steel mill was operational during the PPP era, but it was closed in 2015 when federal government, then cut off gas connection of the mill.
He said that no new appointments were made during PPP era, only temporary employees services were made permanent.
He said that President Asif Ali Zardari had signed a MoU with Russia to revive and expend the steel mill but it could not be implemented as the PPP government term ended and successive government had shown no interest in materializing the MoU on steel mill as they were interested in giving it to their blue-eyed person.