ISLAMABAD: Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Friday apprised the Senate that the losses of state owned enterprises have surpassed even to the annual defence budget due to the indecisiveness and regressive policies of previous governments.
Responding to various supplementary questions during Question Hour, the minister said the past governments failed to revive or privatize Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).
He said the debt of PSM stood at Rs. 211 billion and now the government has decided to lease out the core steel mills operations in order to revive it.
The PSM couldn't be revived or privatized during the PPP and the PML-N's tenures and a sum of Rs. 35 billion had been paid during the past five years from the taxpayers' pockets to its employees, he added.
The minister said that the PSM employees had not been working for the last many years and now they would get a financial package of minimum Rs. 2.3 million to Rs. 7-8 million per employee as compensation.
He clarified that only the operations of PSM would be privatised while thousands of acres of land would still remain in the custody of the PSM.
To a question, the minister said PSM owned 19,013 acres and no land has been sold out.
However, PSM has leased out some of its land to Down Stream Industrial Estate, M/s National Industrial Park Management and Development Company and township to its employees.
To a question, the minister said PSM has total 8,944 employees.
Later the Chairman referred questions pertaining to PSM to the concerned standing committee on the demands of members for detailed deliberation.