The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Federal Cabinet has approved another bailout package of Rs 8.6 billion of taxpayer money in addition to Rs 6 billion given since December 2011. I don’t understand the wisdom of members of the ECC; is it the job of the government to manage business? Pakistan Steel Mills, for instance, declared losses of over Rs 20 billion in 2011-12. Why do members of ECC fail to recognise the fact that the machinery and equipment Pakistan Steel Mills employs is now outdated. The normal shelf life of any industrial plant is about 20 years and those exceed 30 years at least. With the new technology adopted worldwide and energy saving systems, the newer steel mills are producing steel products that are cost effective and better in quality. How without a modern governance system, corruption and heavy losses can an industrial enterprise be called a viable business?
The MCB bank which was sold to private business groups for a meagre amount of Rs 580 million is now enjoying profits of over Rs 15 million. There are numerous other examples. The only solution to getting rid of the liabilities of the government owned enterprises is to privatise them. Instead of pumping Rs 250 billion into old enterprises, the government should invest the same amount in power generation projects with public-private partnership.
I fail to understand why the government has a ‘Ministry of Privatisation’ when it has not privatised a single government owned enterprise in the past four and a half years. Why does the government waste public money on maintaining a government ministry that has no work to do?
I request to all those who are in positions of authority and claiming all love for the country to find out solutions to this economic mess that is now prevalent. A country’s survival is based on its economic standing as opposed to military or nuclear strength. Why does who the government whose priority should be welfare of the people, running in default? Why is it putting public money in black holes instead of spending on projects that provide electricity, food and gas at affordable costs?
S T HUSSAIN