Reportedly state owned enterprises (SoEs) swallow about half a trillion rupees annually. The state of affairs prevails because of: 1) rampant corruption, 2) inefficiencies, 3) overstaffing, 4) extravaganzas and above all appointment of highly corrupt top management in of most of these entities. The most notorious are PSM, PIA, Pakistan Railways, WAPDA, GENCOs and DISCOs.
Even since the PML-N government has come into power it has paid around 1.5 trillion rupees in the name of resolution of circular debt but the outstanding amount is still estimated half a trillion rupees. These mindboggling amounts have been paid in the name of saving the masses from the menace of load shedding. Since the amounts have been paid without removing the root causes, the issue will continue to rise with regular intervals.
One of the news published in local newspapers shows complete apathy and no sense of responsibility of those at the helm of affairs Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said PSM owes over Rs35 billion to the SSGC whose own total equity is worth Rs18bn. Since PSM is virtually insolvent and incapable of paying off this liability SSGC’s very existence is at stake.
This amount has not accumulated overnight but over the years. A question arise, are those sitting in Islamabad blind, deaf and dumb and unaware of the growing problem. It may be said that either they are highly irresponsible and have no sense of duty whatsoever or they suffer from ‘who cares’ attitude. In both the cases these people should be arrested and brought to court of law for not discharging their duties.
It is on record that the government has injected billions of rupees to keep PSM in working condition. Even a cursory look suggests that instead of extending more ‘bail out packages’ PSM should be stopped, employees laid off and plant and machinery sold on ‘as is where is basis’.
This will save the government from spending money on a ‘dead horse’. PSM workers have enjoyed enough and it is time for them to bear the brunt of their collective loot. Higher the rank higher should be the penalty, there is the only way out ‑ nothing less nothing more.