Pakistan Steel recorded Rs5bn losses in six months

Express April 29, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Employees of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) are reported to have taken house rent worth billions of rupees while residing in official residences. An audit report for the Ministry of Industries for 2008-09 disclosed at a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting here on Wednesday, said the double benefits on accommodation were enjoyed by many people from the chairman to officials at junior posts.

According to audit reports submitted to the PAC, the former PSM chairman also took Rs2.886 million house rent while using his official residence. The committee presided by MNA Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan expressed its “anger and horror” over the revelation and directed the top management of the PSM to give a detailed report within one month. The current Chairman of the Pakistan Steel Mills Malik Israr Hussain told the panel that a board of directors had approved of the “facility” for its employees. Because of this facility, billions of rupees were spent on house rent, while the employees were using official residences.

Such a “facility” is not applicable in any other state or private organisation. “The country is being taken for granted,” Nisar said in response to Hussain’s statement, adding that “The organisation has almost turned bankrupt and they are stealing national wealth.” Nisar said there was no moral or legal justification for the practice and those who took the decision would either have to pay back the money or face the consequences. He said his committee — a parliamentary corruption watchdog — would send all those to jail who had approved of such a scheme. He added that the practice was irresponsible and the management of the PSM should discontinue it immediately.

Pakistan Steel Mills, the country’s largest industrial unit continues to run into massive losses despite the change in the company’s top management. During the first six months of the current financial year, it has recorded a loss of Rs5 billion.

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