Sindh government refuses to hand over steel mill land to center
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday said that the provincial government would never give its land for the proposed recovery of Pakistan Steel Mill.
“The land belongs to the people of Sindh and we would never barter away on their rights,” he said while giving instructions to Sindh Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon and asked him to write a letter to the federal government that the land of Pakistan Steel Mills belonged to the provincial government.
“We would never allow its [land] doling out to settle the liabilities of mills which are said to be around Rs65 billion,” he said.
The chief minister said that the federal government has failed to run Pakistan Steel Mills which is a national asset.
“The steel mill has a vast potential to turn into a profit-making orgnisation but it needs political will and clear business plan which seems to be lacked with the people at the helm of affairs,” he said.
The seriousness of the federal government to run the mills can be gauged from the fact that it has no Chief Operating Officer from the last one year, he added.
“Everything is going on there on ad hoc basis and the policies and plans of the mill are being worked out by those who have no official authority,” he said.
The chief minister said that the provincial government had given land to the federal government for establishing a steel mill complex in 1970s. Now, the federal government has failed to run the mill professionally, therefore it has set its eyes on its pricy land which doesn’t belong to them, he added.
“We would never allow any bank or corporation to take an inch of the land of the mill,” he said and added the extra land of the mill would also be resumed.
The chief minister said that the provincial government had its own plans to utilize the land available there.
“We are going to establish new industrial units, power plants and such other establishments,” he said and directed the chief secretary to start a clear and concrete correspondence with the federal government telling them that the land of Pakistan Steel Mills belongs to the people of Sindh [Sindh government] and we would never allow anybody to dole it out.
He said the liabilities and other problems of the steel mills were the results of the failed policies of the federal government.
“Oh yes, we have sympathy with the employees of the steel mills who have not been paid salaries from the last five months. We would raise our voice in their support,” he said and added “as far as the land of the steel mills is concerned we would not give it at any cost,” he clarified and gave loud message to the federal government.