ISLAMABAD: There is no choice for the government, but to find a strategic partner for Pakistan Steel after having invested more in its restructuring, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Industries and Production was informed here on Thursday.

CEO Steel Mills Wasif Mehmood told the committee that the mills was operating at three per cent of its capacity in January 2014, but its monthly salary bill was around Rs500 million, as a result its losses have accumulated to Rs103 billion.

Chairman of the Committee Asad Umar, described the situation as pathetic, and said figures shows that the mills had been a profitable entity under the military setup.

“This also means that political interference was a key reason for worsening conditions of the state-owned enterprises.” The situation seems to be similar even in the current government, Mr Umar added.

His remarks invited comments from members, including MNAs of ruling PML-N who criticised the minister and bureaucracy in the Ministry of Industries and Production for creating a state of confusion.

“There is total lack of interest from the minister who did not bother to come and the secretary has left the meeting,” said Mian Abdul Mannan, PML-N MNA from Faisalabad.

The committee was informed that the government would have to pay around Rs52bn if the mills is closed.

“The plan is to go for restructuring of the mills and then to look for a strategic partner,” said Chairman, Privatisation Commission, Mohammad Zubair.

“It is expected that the restructuring plan will be finalised in one month,” he further said.

Restructuring plan would have to be submitted to the committee and its recommendations would be incorporated in the final draft for the ECC.

“Bureaucrats have been telling different stories at different forums, we need to have a closer look into the situation,” Mohammad Muzzamil Qureshi of MQM said.

“We need to come up with something serious — this restructuring will cost money and it is likely to go waste,” Iftikharuddin from Chitral, the lone MNA of Musharraf’s APML added.

The committee took notice of payment of huge subsidies for sugar and fertiliser. It was informed that in 2010 a sum of Rs8.45bn was paid on sugar.

Opinion

Press and power
25 Sep 2021

Press and power

None used the press so brazenly as the Modi government.
Once upon a Taliban
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Once upon a Taliban

Something, somewhere is terribly wrong with how this story is unfolding.
Foundation of healthcare
24 Sep 2021

Foundation of healthcare

Primary healthcare is as much for healthy individuals as it for those suffering from ill health.

Editorial

25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...
24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...