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Apex Court orders Fed Gov to submit response on privatization of PSM

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

12th Mar, 2020. 01:52 pm
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Apex Court

 Apex Court on Thursday demanded a response from the federal government on the privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills.

A three-member bench led by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the case, pertaining to the privatization of Steel Mills.

The chief justice said the mills closed since 2015 and the employees still receiving their salaries, adding that the government paying billions annually.

The Apex Court  ordered the secretary of Ministry of Industries to look into the matter immediately.

Chief Justice Pakistan Gulzar further ordered the government to lay off all employees, and appoint new people if it wants to keep PSM running.

“It seems the entire national budget has been spent on it,” he added.

Earlier this year, the government decided not to include Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework, reversing its earlier decision to offer the country’s largest industrial unit, which has remained closed for almost five years, exclusively to Chinese investors.

The decision to sell Pakistan Steel Mills through international competitive bidding was taken at the prime minister’s level a few weeks ago, sources in the Ministry of Industries told The Express Tribune.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, Commerce and Industries Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Planning Minister Asad Umar and Privatisation Minister Mohammad Mian Soomro were in favour of including PSM in the CPEC framework, the sources said.

However, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and some other officials wanted that PSM should be privatised through open competition among all investors, they added.

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