Wednesday 11 December 2019
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The News - 23 days ago

SC restrains govt from selling PSM land

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday restrained the government from selling land owned by Pakistan Steel Mills and ruled that it is property of the people of the country.A two-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the matter pertaining to payment of provident funds of former employees of Pakistan Steel Mills. The court also dismissed as withdrawn, appeal by the federal government against the attachment of an account operated by the Ministry of Industries and Production.During the hearing, Deputy Attorney General informed the court that they have to sell the land, as they did not have sufficient funds to pay provident funds to the employees.Justice Gulzar Ahmed, however, took strong exception to performance of PSM and observed that the output of the Mills is zero saying that instead of improving it, the responsible people have destroyed it while concentrating on filling their pockets.Once it was a huge state-owned organization, which had facilitated functioning of hundreds of other steel mills but it has been ruined by the people responsible for it , Justice Gulzar Ahmed recalled.He said that cars, trucks and even rockets were prepared by the State-owned mills. Meanwhile, the court restrained the government from selling the PSM land with the ruling that it belongs to the people of the country and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.The court also dismissed the appeal filed by the federal government against the attachment of an account operated by the Ministry of Industries and Production after the government withdrew the appeal.Deputy Attorney General informed the court as the Sindh High Court had withdrawn its order, therefore, the appeal got anfractuous.It is pertinent to mention here that the Sindh High Court in August ordered to freeze the accounts of the Federal Ministry of Industries and Production, which is the controlling authority and responsible for the management and operation of Pakistan Steel Mills. The retired employees had moved the court against non-payment of their dues relating to gratuity and provident funds.


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