KARACHI: The Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi Amir Muhammad Hussain Mehnati has urged the ruling regime to take immediate note of the problems plaguing Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), demanding a bailout package for the struggling institution.
Talking to a labour union delegation at Idara Noor-e-Haq on Saturday, Mehnati praised the efforts of newly elected officials to safeguard institutions like the Pakistan Railways and to cop the power crisis hurting the country. He asked the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to react with similar measures for the PSM.
Mehnati expressed deep concerns over the non-payment of staff salaries in the PSM. He said he thought it was still possible to pull the PSM out of crisis and transform it into a profitable public entity, if the due reforms were adopted.
It is worth noting that if approved, this would be the third such bailout in as many years. The PSM has already been granted Rs75 billion in bailouts over the past three years.
The Pakistan Steel Labour Organisation Union General Secretary Zafar Khan apprised JI leadership of the issues facing Pakistan Steel Mills. He said that former ruling regimes had tainted this great organisation with corruption and nepotism. Efforts to pave the way for privatisation had further ruined it.
Khan elaborated that as late as 2008 – when the ex-ruling regime assumed the office – the PSM was a profitable organisation . But over the next five years, salary payments had become a headache for the same organisation.
Khan cited the information as evidence of the corruption inherent in the former government. He also criticised the role of the Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) in worsening the situations of the institution. He urged the JI leadership to step forward and make due efforts to realise the payment of salaries and reforms in the PSM.
The JI Karachi Amir assured the labour representatives of the same cooperation and support as the union enjoyed from JI in the past. He demanded the government to quit plans of privatising PSM and instead, appoint honest and responsible management for its revitalisation. He demanded immediate reforms and restructuring of the management, as well as the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.