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Pending PSM salaries, cases in NAB discussed by Senate body

Updated February 21, 2019

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The committee discussed various options regarding PSM, including its revitalisation or privatisation or that the mills should be operated by the government.— AFP/File
The committee discussed various options regarding PSM, including its revitalisation or privatisation or that the mills should be operated by the government.— AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production was informed on Wednesday that the NAB inquiry over the suspension of gas to Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) in 2015 has been closed.

The committee, chaired by Senator Ahmed Khan, discussed various options regarding PSM, including its revitalisation or privatisation or that the mills should be operated by the government.

The committee was informed by Secretary Industries Azhar Ali Chaudhary that the working group formed in this regard in December 2018 will submit its report by the end of March.

“The decision by the government will be based on recommendations of the working group,” he told the committee.

Members of the committee including Senator Sitara Ayaz inquired about the NAB cases filed by the previous National Assembly Committee on Industries and Production, led by Asad Umar during the PML-N’s government.

The committee was informed that the NAB case was to determine the reasons over terminating gas supply to the PSM in 2015 which led to complete closure of the steel mills.

However, the case has been closed by NAB recently.

The committee chairman inquired about the monthly salary bill of Steel Mills employees.

He was informed that the salary bill was around Rs380 million.

“We pay Rs5 billion in salaries annually and for the last four years the government has paid around Rs20-25bn to PSM while the entity remained non-functional,” Senator Ahmed Khan said.

He added, “We need to find some solution, things cannot continue this way.”

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2019