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January 15, 2021

Resolution to be moved in PA for transfer of PSM control to Sindh

Karachi

January 15, 2021

A resolution will be presented to the Sindh Assembly to urge the Centre to immediately transfer the control of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) to the Sindh government to spare it from privatisation and also to secure its employees against the downsizing drive launched by the relevant federal authorities.

A decision to this effect was reached on Thursday at a meeting of the committee formed by the Sindh cabinet to deal with persisting crisis facing the Steel Mills.

Information and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Labour Minister Saeed Ghani, Law and Environment Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Karamat Ali of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research, Gahanwer Ali Laghari and leaders of the Steel Mills’ Action Committee attended the meeting.

The resolution will be moved in the Sindh Assembly on the recommendation of the concerned labour leaders.

The committee members, discussing an ongoing protest sit-in outside the residence of the PSM CEO, said the labourers should continue with their protest in a peaceful manner. The agitation drive should remain completely peaceful and no action should be taken which otherwise could cause harm to the protest drive of the labourers of the PSM, they said.

The cabinet members said the Sindh government had decided to write a letter to the Centre on the issue. Barrister Wahab is writing the draft of the letter, and another consultative session will be held in two days to finalise the draft.

The letter will include recommendations of the labour organisations of the PSM so as to safeguard the legitimate interests of its workers.

The information minister said Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had issued directives that due efforts should be made to act upon the recommendations of the concerned workers of the PSM.

He recalled that casualties had occurred a few years back during a similar agitation drive by of PIA workers.

He said the PSM labourers should keep their agitation completely peaceful, as the federal government was not going to instantly hand over the Steel Mills to the Sindh government after receiving a letter to this effect.

Karamat Ali of PILER said an agitation drive had to be continued in this regard on a permanent basis as the federal government was not going to withdraw from its stance so easily. The masses had to be mobolised on the issue, he said.

He said criminal cases were being lodged unlawfully against protesting labourers. All participants of the meeting came up with the consensus viewpoint that a solution to the PSM problem would be sought while working mutually with the Sindh government.