Pakistan Steel Mills sacked 4,500 workers

 The state owned Pakistan Steel Mills is not functional since 2015

The Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) sacked 4,544 workers, including the Divisional and Assistant Managers. The state owned Steel Mills in Karachi has been shut down since 2015.

The management confirmed that officials belonging to category 2, 3, and 4 pay groups have been dismissed from their jobs. The spokesperson also notified that dismissal letters have been sent to sacked employees by post.

On the other hand, PSM Stakeholders Group Convener Mamriz Khan lamented that the state has become indifferent to the employees of one of the largest public sectors of Pakistan. "There are reports that the department head was called today so that employees can be dismissed," he said, lamenting that employees are forced to protest during the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

Regretting that the case against the appointment of Steel Mills Chief Executive is not being heard, the PSM official said that the current plan to rehabilitate the Pakistan Steel Mills will cause further damage.

Earlier this month, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said that the government had decided to privatise the PSM as it had become a burden on the national exchequer.

He said that PSM employees had not been working for the last many years and now they would get a financial package of around Rs2.3 million per employee as compensation. Besides, he said, employees could also contribute to productivity in the private sector.

He said that at one stage, the PSM had 30,000 employees out of which many employees had retired and now an estimated 9,000 employees were working for the mill. He said the PSM was closed for the last five years and previous governments could not devise any plan for it.

The minister said that the government had to spend Rs 55 billion to pay salaries to employees of a closed mill. He said when the PTI government came into power; the Pakistan Steel Mills was facing a loss of Rs 176 billion and its interest was also increasing with each passing day.

The PTI leaders promised to rehabilitate the Steel Mills before coming to power but now want to privatise it. These sackings are part of privatisation process.

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