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Govt agrees to all demands made by Utility Stores Corporation employees: Naeemul Haq

October 23, 2018

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This file photo shows citizens lining up outside utility stores to buy subsidised groceries.
This file photo shows citizens lining up outside utility stores to buy subsidised groceries.

The Prime Minister's Special Assistant for Political Affairs, Naeemul Haq, on Tuesday announced that the government has agreed to all demands put forth by employees of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC).

USC employees have been protesting on the streets of various cities while claiming that Abdul Razzaq Dawood, adviser to the prime minister on industries, is following in the steps of former finance minister Ishaq Dar and wants to shut down the stores in the name of reforms.

The USC, which provides state-subsidised groceries, has in the past been accused of gross mismanagement and widespread embezzlement by employees.

The protesters claim that shutting these stores down will not only jeopardise the livelihood of 14,000 employees of the USC, but also leave citizens at the mercy of retailers.

The protesters further want the services of USC employees to be regularised.

"There are no demands that the Utility Stores Corporation Employees have made that we have not agreed to," Haq said.

"Some negative elements from the PML-N and the PPP are trying to coerce these people [into believing otherwise]," he added.

"These two [political] parties are responsible for looting this corporation during their respective tenures and they are still trying to darken the future of these employees."

"The attorney general's report is full of PML-N and PPP's wrongdoings. These parties are not looking to safeguard the rights of the corporation's employees, they are looking to keep us from finding out their wrongdoings."

He also said that the government will work towards protecting the rights of these employees and that "the Utility Store Corporation employees should work alongside the government rather than these miscreants."