ECC approves funds to implement golden handshake plan for PSM employees

ECC approves funds to implement golden handshake plan for PSM employees
Islamabad: The Economic Coordination Committee on Monday approved Rs19.65 billion to kick start the implementation of golden handshake plan for Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) employees on immediate basis.

Prime Minister's Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired a meeting of the ECC where the allocation of amount was approved for the retrenchment plan, which was given go-ahead in June earlier this year.

There are 9,350 employees of the steel mills, running in losses since long. Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar in June said that each of them will be given at least Rs2.3 million as golden handshake.

The federal minister had said that the Pakistan Steel Mills have been closed for years, adding that it was running Rs550 billion deficit and billions are being spent on debt servicing.

Azhar had said the government was changing its role from being owner and operator to owner-and-policy maker and the Mills are a “white elephant” that the country needs to get rid of, especially at a time when the country’s economic situation is worsening.

The ECC meeting also gave go-ahead for gas or RLNG supply to five zero-rated industrial sectors, including textile, carpets, leather, sports and surgical goods in order to reduce the pressure on the Sui Southern Gas company.

Starting from tomorrow, the supply of to export sector would be reduced to 50 percent for both Saturdays and Sundays for two consecutive weekends and possibly the third weekend to build sustainable gas pressures in SSGC's system.

The economic committed of federal also approved the raise in natural gas sale price for commercial consumers excluding domestic, tandoor.

ECC also increased gas meter rent for domestic consumers from Rs20 to Rs40. It also approved a slight increase of 32 paisas in electricity tariff for consumers of up to 200 units.