LAHORE: PML-N President and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif said on Friday that sacking of thousands of Pakistan Steel Mills employees had exposed the hollow promises and slogans of ‘clueless and heartless’ government of Imran Khan.

“The PTI opposed privatisation of SOEs (state-owned enterprises) by PMLN & promised to reform them including Pakistan Steel Mills. Now it has decided to fire thousands of its employees in the middle of a pandemic. Another example of how clueless and heartless this Govt is & how fake the slogan of “change” was,” Shahbaz said in a tweet on Friday.

The PTI government on Wednesday approved retrenchment of all the 9,350 remaining employees of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) with a one-time severance cost of about Rs20bn.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet presided over by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

“The meeting gave a go-ahead to a ‘full and final’ human resource rationalisation plan for the PSM employees in accordance with the judgements and observations of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and other courts hearing the cases involving the PSM,” said an official announcement.

Meanwhile, PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal telephoned ANP leader Ameer Zameer

Khan and inquired after his health. Mr Khan has been infected by Covid-19 and under treatment in hospital.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2020