ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday barred the government from selling land of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), saying it cannot be sold as “it belongs to the people”.
A two-member bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Conducted the hearing on a petition concerning a shortage of funds to pay provident funds and gratuities to former PSM employees.
During the hearing, the deputy advocate general, who was representing the government, told the court that PSM did not have sufficient funds to pay salaries and provident funds to employees.
“We are selling the land in order to pay [outstanding] dues,” he said.
In response, Justice Gulzar Ahmed criticised PSM’s performance, saying: “Pakistan Steel Mills’ output is zero. It has been ruined [by the responsible people] to fill their own pockets.”
“Pakistan Steel Mills was [once] a huge institution. Hundreds of steel mills operated with the help of [PSM],” he recalled. “Cars, trucks and even rockets were prepared in PSM.”
The bench, however, restrained the government from disposing of PSM land to address its financial crisis.
The hearing was subsequently adjourned for 15 days.