Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) is suffering a loss of Rs 60 to 70 million on daily basis, while millions of rupees are required for its day-to-day operation; the National Assembly was informed on Friday. Minister for Industries and Production, Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, while replying to a question told the House that the PSM had caused loss of Rs 86 billion to the national exchequer from 2008 to 2012, adding that four bailout packages worth Rs 40 billion had been given to the mills during the aforementioned period.
He said that Rs 3 billion were issued to the PSM after the approval of Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC), adding that pending salaries were given to the employees, while the remaining amount was enough to cater the needs of the institution till November 2013.
About the privatisation of the PSM, the Minister said that there was no fresh proposal under consideration of the Ministry to privatise the PSM, adding that the PSM is on privatisation list since 2005.
Responding to a question of Sahibzada Tariq Ullah, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali assured the lower House that Kalabag Dam would not be constructed without national consensus. He said that the incumbent government would not start construction of Kalabagh Dam without consulting all political parties, adding that any such step may trigger controversy. The Minister said that the incumbent government was committed to overcome energy crisis in the country and it would consider every project to include cheap electricity in the system. He added that the government was also considering a Russian proposal regarding purchase of 5000 MW electricity.
He said that the government was committed to convert Thermal Power Plants into coal-based plants‚ which would produce cheap electricity. He said this conversion would be completed in two and half years. He said that cost of electricity produced through a coal power plant would be ten to eleven rupees per unit whereas thermal power plants are producing each unit at Rs 21 to 22.
To another question raised by Mir Aamir Ali Khan Magsi‚ the Minister said that Federal Government had allocated Rs 103‚715.387 million funds to Sindh and Balochistan for Water and Irrigation Projects during the last five year.
Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf while replying to a question of Lal Chand told the House that Ministry of Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony spent over 337 million rupees for the development schemes and 137.24 million rupees on financial assistance to minorities in living Pakistan during the last five years.
Sardar Muhammad Yousuf said that Rs20 millions were given to 10 minorities MNAs in October 2011 as special grants while over 13.33 million rupees were given as special grants to Christian schools‚ churches and for the distribution of Christmas food packages in 2011.
The House was informed that there was no shortage of rooms for visitors at Gurdawara Nanakana Sahib. He said the ETP Board has provided state of art facilities to the visiting Sikh Yatrees. He said that a residential block consisting of 500 rooms had been constructed in the premises of Gurdawara Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib. He said there was proposal under consideration for the construction of 30 additional rooms at Nankana Sahib and PC-1/PC-II of the project is under preparation.