PR No. 188

Islamabad: September 17, 2015

Despite poor financial conditions of the state-owned companies Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and Pakistan Machine Tool Factory (PMTF), thousands of their employees can now show a sigh of relief, as their salaries for the months of June-August 2015 have been approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) today.

The decision came after the Privatisation Commission forwarded two summaries to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on 10th September 2015 requesting for an approval of around Rs1 billion for two month salaries for PSM employees and Rs96 million for PMTF employees. The ECC has approved Rs960 million for PSM and Rs64 million for PMTF.

Mr. Muhammad Zubair, Chairman Privatisation Commission said that employee welfare remained a high priority for the Government. “We fully understand the difficult situation, which thousands of employees of PSM and PMTF are currently facing. Due to on-going losses in both companies, thousands of workers are in distress, as the companies are financially unable to pay salaries and wages to their employees. Protecting the welfare of the employees has been a great concern to us, which is why we have been pushing for staff salaries to be released. This is however not a permanent solution, said Mr. Zubair”.

Speaking about privatizing loss-making entities, Mr. Zubair stated that he was confident that once the privatisation was successfully completed, the productivity and profitability of these companies would increase. “Privatisation is aimed at improving efficiency and higher profitability, which holds both financial and social benefits. By privatising such entities, the Government will no longer have to suffer an annual loss of around Rs500 billion due to provision of subsidies – instead this amount can be better spent on health, education and infrastructure initiatives for the benefit of the public. Additionally, privatisation also benefits the employees, as the private sector brings in better management systems, higher profitability, higher salaries and overall better employment conditions”, said Mr. Zubair.

He further said that the Privatisation Commission had taken a lead in opening up a series of dialogues with relevant stakeholders on contentious issues, especially related to the welfare of employees. He assured that all concerns would be addressed promptly and in a fair and transparent manner.