LAHORE - The Punjab government Friday told the Lahore High Court that a committee was set up by the chief minister to decide future of the public sector companies set up by the PML-N government.

During hearing of a petition challenging establishment of 56 public sector companies, the additional advocate general appeared before the court and said the committee formed by the chief minister would take decision about future of these companies on the basis of their performance. The law officer said the government would not retain companies, which failed to deliver and perform satisfactorily.  Justice Shahid Karim directed the law officer to submit a report on the decision of the committee by January 17.

Advocate Sheraz Zaka had filed the petition during the stint of the PML-N government in the province on behalf of then leader of opposition Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, now provincial minister for housing and urban development.

The lawyer questioned legitimacy of the companies and involvement of legislators in their affairs. He contended that according to Public Sector Companies Rules 2013 legislators could not exercise their powers as chairmen of public sector companies. He said that companies had been interfering in effective functioning of local governments.

Justice Karim also directed provincial minister Rasheed to raise the issue before the cabinet as well and allowed the counsel to withdraw the petition since the petitioner had become a cabinet member.

However, in other connected petitions, the judge issued notice to Punjab senior minister Abdul Aleem Khan and directed the government that no political appointment shall be made to the public sector companies.