After slumbering for many months the Ministry of Industries and Production on Monday asked the Privatisation Commission to take steps for the release of Pakistan Steel Mills’ employees’ salaries for the last seven months before the start of the holy month of Ramadan.
An informed source said that the hurried release of PSM employees’ salaries was sought as the government wants to stop the unpaid workers from becoming part of Imran Khan’s protest plans. PTI has been supporting the PSM employees at various forums and opposing the privatisation of the steel mill. Asad Umar of PTI heads National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Industries. He has caused a lot of embarrassment for the government in the committee.
An official statement said MOIP has recommended to the Privatisation Commission to move a summary for payment of seven months salaries for the period from December 2015 to June, to the employees of PSM as recommended by the PSM management on humanitarian grounds due to the upcoming holy month of Ramadan and Eid holidays.
While approving the payment of salaries to Pakistan Steel Mills, ECC directed to rationalise day to day essential administrative expenditures of PSM through its Board of Directors. The meeting of the Board of Directors, however, could not be held and has now been scheduled for April 27.
“We fully understand the difficult situation, which thousands of employees of PSM are currently facing. We are extremely sensitive to the wellbeing of employees of all state-owned enterprises listed in the privatisation programme, as we fully understand the financial and social implications of families not receiving salaries for months. We are, therefore, doing our best to provide the employees maximum protection,” a statement from Industries and Production Secretary Khizar Hayat Gondal said.