Responding to a motion of PPP’s Taj Haider in Senate wherein he had labelled the government’s announcement as “a violation of Article 274 of the Constitution,” the minister said the government was trying to steer Pakistan Steel Mills out of crisis but no specific development on the land transfer deal was in sight.
The minister said that Pakistan Steel Mills was a profitable organisation but it was ruined during the PPP-led coalition government. “The steel mills incurred a whopping 104 billion rupees loss during the PPP government,” he said. Abbasi said the federal government has offered Sindh government to acquire the PSM and run it in profit if they can do so but “we haven’t received any response from the Sindh government so far.” He said the federal government’s offer to Sindh government still stands valid.
Earlier, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution on the eve of Working Women’s Day, appreciating working women’s contributions with the acknowledgement that men and women are equal and should have same working opportunities.
Senator Sitara Ayaz from the Awami National Party moved a resolution on behalf of her over a dozen colleagues which mentioned constitutional provisions related to rights of citizens and said that the Senate “acknowledges that the women and men are equal partners and should have the same right and responsibilities and the same working opportunities.”
The resolution, however, deplored in “the strongest possible terms the fact that in some sectors women do not receive the same salary in cases where they hold the same jobs as men or jobs of equal value, and condemns equally, both horizontal and vertical segregation,” and urged the government to take such initiative to provide safe, secure, healthy and harassment free environment to the working women class of the country.
During proceedings, the lawmakers from Balochistan urged government to make sure that gas is supplied during the winter season or else there might be some reaction. Usman Kakar from the PkMAP had raised the issue with a mention of severe weather with temperature below -18C and that the supply was short by 50 mmcfd against required 190 mmcfd. On the other hand, he said Balochistan was producing 318188 mmcfd.
Though the lawmakers particularly from Balochistan were expecting a commitment from the government, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said things might improve by next year. The minister admitted that the people of Balochistan were facing shortages but at the same time bill recovery in Quetta was a merely 10 percent. We did not disconnect their supply despite having such dismal recovery, he added.
Abbasi further informed the house that gas was not being supplied to power plants or CNG stations but the situation became worse due to less production from the Zarghon field.