KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Saturday directed the federal government to pay-off dues of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) pensioners by May 15, ARY NEWS reported.
During a hearing for payments to over 4500 PSM pensioners, the court in its three page written order warned to freeze all bank accounts of the steel mill if payments were not made within the stipulated time.
“We are giving last chance to the government to resolve pensioners issues and if matters are not resolved by next hearing then all funds and accounts of it will be freezed,” the court remarked while rejecting the excuse of shortage of funds for delay in pensioners’ payments.
The court also expressed its annoyance over absence of secretary finance of the industries and production ministry and secretary cabinet division and summoned them in the next hearing along with the chief executive officer (CEO) of the steel mill.
Earlier during the proceedings, an additional secretary of the industries ministry said that they were unable to pay the amounts and would seek parliament’s help for allocating extra funds for payments to pensioners. The court rejected the suggestions for payments from the federal government and the PSM authorities.
It is pertinent to mention here that in December 2019, Russian trade minister Denis Manturov said that Moscow is willing to expand cooperation with Pakistan in multiple sectors including the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).
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Denis Manturov, while addressing a joint news conference along with Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, said his country is ready to cooperate with Islamabad in various sectors including industry, agriculture, energy, medicine, railways, gas supplies and geological capacity.
The minister said Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) was established with the cooperation of Russian experts and his country will extend cooperation for the revival of the organisation for enhancing its productivity. He also expressed interest in building the geological capacity of Pakistan apart from building North-South Gas Pipeline.