ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan People’s Party Thursday rejected the government’s proposal to shut down the Pakistan Steel Mills and layoff thousands of employees.

In a statement, Information Secretary PPP Parliamentarians Dr Nafisa Shah referred to the latest board meeting of the PSM where a decision was allegedly taken to lay off thousands of employees.

“The PPP rejects all moves towards layoffs and the shutting down of the Steel Mills. The PSM a giant in Pakistan’s industrial structure with over 40,000 employees once was a source of employment and nation building at lower level. Its role in the stability of the domestic economy has been very important. Sadly today it has been ruined by those in power in Islamabad,” she said.

She added: “If the investigation is made to determine the main responsibility of the fall of Pakistan’s largest and profitable industrial unit, then the sole responsibility for destroying it would fall on Nawaz Sharif’s shoulder who back in 2015 ordered to shut down gas supplies to PSM when its production was at 65% despite the then prevailing problems in international market, the closure of Gas supplies led to PSM production coming to a halt.”

Since 2015 the gas supplies are closed and Pakistan’s pride in industrial sector is in shambles while the industrial units run by Sharif’s of Jati Umrah are growing further.

She added that this was the institution which is a basic industry designed to meet the steel needs of Pakistan, and has also played a vital role in domestic defence industries.

By halting PSM production Nawaz Sharif has inflicted irreparable damage on Pakistan’s defence industry, she said.

In last four years dozens of employees of PSM, she said, had lost their lives due to lack of medical facilities because the federal government has been reluctant to pay their salaries and dues, as they get salary almost once after 4 months.

“Now the Pervez Musharraf’s protégé Danial Aziz has hatched a new plan to shut down this precious resource while (Punjab Chief Minister) Shahbaz Sharif has acquired the precious lands of PSM under the guise of CPEC, at dirt cheap rates,” claimed Nafisa Shah.

She said destroying labourers life has been the manifesto of Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) which had always adopted anti-labour policies and destroyed all the institutions which were playing an important role in state building and economy of Pakistan.

She urged the federal government to immediately clear the dues of PSM retired employees and salaries of existing employees and devise ways for revival of the basic industry in Pakistan. She said that PPP will raise the issue of PSM in National Assembly.