ISLAMABAD: Vice President of Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian, Senator Sherry Rehman has expressed deep concern over the SSGC’s announcement of unilaterally stopping all gas inputs to Pakistan Steel mills, without any stakeholder consultation.
In a statement, the PPPP Vice President said, “This one-sided and high handed behaviour of of SSGC towards Pakistan Steel Mills clearly reflects the federal government’s myopia and disregard for democratic norms and consultations. Cutting off gas supply to the Steel Mill without any plan, or public conversation about how to rationalise resources only demonstrates an attitude that ignores the problems faced by labour, as the mill employs more than 16,000 people.”
“There are also millions whose livelihood is indirectly connected to the Pakistan Steel Mills,” said Rehman, adding “it should have been discussed transparently and constructively with at least the stakeholders. Now it will have to go to the Council of Common Interests.
The Senator said that if due transparency with diligence is not adopted, then it will be said that the federal government has decided to bring Pakistan Steel Mills to a standstill so that its key allies may avail a chance to buy this strategic national asset at throwaway prices.
“I believe that the IMF has already been given assurances for this privatisation by December, which suggests that the SSGC’s move is a planned directive from the federal government. Already ailing from a stagnated production process due to low gas pressures, the mills’ production capacity will now be completely destroyed, setting it back three to four years,” she said.
“The Pakistan Steel Mills were envisioned by Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who also laid their foundation,” said Rehman. “Any attempt aimed at its unilateral and overnight dismantling will have to be taken to all constitutional forums, because this is not just a mammoth construction or real estate complex, it is the bread and butter for more than 17,000 families and a source of inspiration and unity for thousands of Pakistanis who came to Karachi to earn their livelihood from each all around the country.” NNI