ISLAMABAD, (MANEND NEWS): Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmad
termed the Pakistan Steel Mills’ (PSM) administration responsible for
the closure of the public entity, ordering the authorities to sack the
officers first before forcing the workforce to resign.
Three-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by
Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice
Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the case of promotion of
Pakistan Steel Mills’ employees on Thursday.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered ministers for planning and
privatisation to appear before the court on February 9.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that mills that have been closed
don’t need officers. “What those 439 officers are doing”, he asked and
added these offices are nothing but a burden on the national treasury.
Remove all officers and then start sacking the employees, the top
judge remarked. The CJP held management of the Pakistan Steel Mills
is responsible for its downfall.
The lawyer of the PSM apprised the court that the management of the
PSM has been changed, to this the CJP asked will this convert the
entity from loss-making to profitable? The PSM is having more
employees against its need even today.
He remarked that the management worked together and took
decisions that affected the mills. “Has the government launched any
investigation against the management?”
Justice Ijazul Ahsan said that the employees of the mills are
demanding promotion even when the PSM is closed. Secretary
Industries and Production said that the process of privatization of the
mills has entered an advanced stage.
The chief justice hinted that the court will close down the mills if the
management refuses to improve their performance. He remarked that
a short order will be issued later in the day.
“No entity can deteriorate without the authorities colluding,” Justice
Gulzar Ahmed said, asking whether the government initiated action
against the steel mills’ administration.
Observing that the administration and the officers are a burden on the
national exchequer, the senior judge wondered why they continued to
hold their designations while the mills remained shut.
“The close steel mills don’t need a managing director or chief
executive,” he said, adding that “the officers should be sacked before
the employees are forced to resign.”
The counsel for PSM, Shahid Bajwa, apprised the court that the entire
administration of the organisation has been replaced, adding that only
439 of the 1,800 employees remain.
He added that the PSM’s daily expenditure has also been reduced from
Rs20 million to Rs10 million. “We have so far sacked 49 per cent of the
workforce, and require the labour court’s permission to sack the rest,”
the counsel said.
At this, the CJP asked if “replacing the administration will make the
PSM functional?” He wondered what the 439 officers were doing when
the mills were closed.”
Justice Gulzar Ahmed also observed that except in Pakistan steel mills
were running profitably around the world. “There will still be more
staffers than needed at the PSM, including those working at its hospital
The apex court then declared a recess, ordering for the Federal
Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Asad Umar, Minister
for Privatization Muhammad Mian Soomro and Minister for Industries
and Production Barrister Muhammad Hammad Azhar and secretaries of
planning and privatization to appear before the court immediately. The
court said that it will decide the matter after listening the above
mentioned government functionaries on the next hearing of the case.
As the hearing resumed, the top court was informed that the federal
ministers cannot appear before the court since they were out of the
However, secretary industries and production informed the court that
the process of the steel mills’ privatisation will be completed by
Further raining down on the officers, the chief justice stated that every
institution of the country was functioning in similar conditions as the
PSM. “Whether its the railways or the PIA, every institutions has a
similar story to tell,” he said.
“Every official is concerned about their own interests; nobody is
concerned about this country,” Justice Gulzar Ahmed added. He added
that the court will decide on how to rule after hearing the federal
ministers on February 9.
On this, the additional attorney general informed the court that the
minister for industries and production has contracted Covid-19 and
was currently self-isolating.
Meanwhile, Justice Gulzar Ahmed expressed resentment over the
attitude of the bureaucracy and said that not a single federal secretary
is working in the country. Pakistan is suffering from different
challenges due to unorganized system, he added. The CJP further said
that secretaries are afraid of National Accountability Bureau (NAB).