SENIOR officers and workers of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) reportedly were involved in the theft of material worth Rs 10 billion.
The shocking revelation was made when the Ministry of Industries and Production approached the federal investigators and informed them about various theft incidents that took place in almost all departments of the state-owned enterprise.
This is being described as one of the biggest thefts in the country’s history.The PSM is a sheer example of total negligence by our successive governments.
Such incidents of theft occur when the matters are left at the mercy of time. It was undoubtedly a precious asset of the country but the apathy of successive rulers led to its losses and eventually it had to be shut down back in 2015.
And since then no serious effort has been made either to revive or privatize it. The result is that hundreds of billions of rupees have since been spent on its bailout packages and payment of salaries to the employees from the national exchequer.
It should be noted that the total value of losses, debts and liabilities of the state enterprise had reached 650 billion rupees by June 2022 and these losses are increasing further due to thefts of huge value.
This should ring alarm bells in the quarters concerned and those behind the theft must be exposed and given exemplary punishment as per the law.
In fact it is not the first time that such a theft has occurred in a state enterprise. Such incidents have also been reported in other organizations as well, especially Pakistan Railways where the people were seen stealing and selling out tracks at different places.
This is not possible without the connivance of the top management. We have no doubt in saying that the state-owned enterprises must not be in the current sorry state of affairs, had they been operated in a transparent manner.
These malpractices, irregularities and corruption are the only reasons behind the downfall of these organizations.
We will suggest the coalition government come up with a clear plan to plug the leakages and revive the SOEs.