PTI, too, opposes sell-off plan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday announced that it would strongly resist the proposed privatisation of state-owned entities, including Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL) at throwaway prices. Speaking at a news conference along with party’s leader Ghulam Sawar Khan, PTI’s senior leader Asad Omar lashed out at the government for its “flawed privatisation policy,” saying that PTI will strongly resist the sell-off of profitable institutions at throwaway prices to meet the fiscal deficit.

He maintained that through a well-thought conspiracy, the PSM is being declared as a non-profitable institution so as to sell it out to the blue-eyed. “May be to those with whom Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a breakfast meeting in New Delhi during his visit to India,” he added. He said the PSM has a 14 percent production capacity during Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government, while it is almost close to zero percent production capacity during the incumbent PML-N government.

“The federal government should unearth those responsible for the complete closure of the important institutions like PSM and it should tell the nation if any action has been taken against those responsible for the complete disaster of the crucial state-owned entity,” he said.

He said the PML-N government, came into power with promises of good governance, but it has left the PPP behind due to a rampant corruption and bad governance. “We will not allow the privatisation of the important state-owned entities including the OGDCL and PSM at throwaway prices,” he said.

To a question about the resignations of PTI members from National Assembly, Omar said he was ready to announce his resignation on the floor of the National Assembly so that the Speaker could verify. “I think this a good suggestion that PTI members to announce their resignations on the floor of National Assembly to remove the issue of verification of their resignations,” he said.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan claimed that massive irregularities are being committed in the construction of new Islamabad International Airport. According to him, its cost has reached Rs 150 billion from Rs 35 billion. He said the airport was supposed to be completed in 2010 at a cost of Rs 35 billion while the government has indicated that it would now be completed in 2016 at a cost of Rs 150 billion.

He said that Supreme Court after taking a suo motu notice of the project had referred the matter to NAB and FIA but no action has been taken so far against the responsible persons due to which the national exchequer is suffering a huge loss.

Sarwar announced that he would personally approach the Supreme Court to unveil those elements responsible for causing a huge loss to the national exchequer. He also condemned the use of force against the OGDCL workers by Islamabad police.