Pakistan Steel Mills, which is closed for the last five years, has sacked its 4,544 category 2, 3 and 4 pay group’s employees and sent their termination letters via post. The PSM spokesman said that they had prepared a list of the employees who have been sacked and included from separate cadres including teachers, drivers, firemen, operators, health and security staffers, SEDGMs, managers and others. At one stage, the PSM had 30,000 employees out of which many employees had retired and now an estimated 9,000 employees are working for the mill. PSM worker, after hearing news of termination from services, observed a sit-in at the National Highway, urging the government to take back its decision of laying off their services.
Opposition Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Mr Bilawal Bhutto, terming it as economic murder, lashed out at the heartless ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for sacking and vowed to restore them once his party is in power as historical industrial asset belongs to the people of Sindh.
Responding to Mr Bilawal's statement, Minister for Industries and Production Mr Hammad Azhar sought to remind everyone that it was during the PPP tenure that PSM went from a profit making entity with billions in bank account to a heavy loss making and bankrupt entity & capacity was brought down to 40%, finally shut down in 2015 when Pakistani Muslim League (Nawaz) came into power. He also rolled out restructuring plan for PSM, which would be run through private sector management to make it profit earning organization. The minister said the government had to take hard decisions to check the losses inflicted on national exchequer through State Owned Entities, which are inflicting loss of around PKR 200 billion to the national exchequer, which is more than the defence budget of the country.