Steel mills of the same capacity as ours are operating in other countries with 3000 workers while ours has 25,000 workers, employed mostly on a political basis on the ‘parchi’ system. This has been a consistent PPP policy since its very inception, ‘The PPP government does not fire, it only hires’ as was said recently by a PIA general manager. Permission was refused for setting up a steel mill in the private sector as it would have embarrassed the government by operating profitably with 3000 workers. For obvious reasons the government is reluctant to privatise the Steel Mills although there will not be many buyers who would be willing to take on 22,000 surplus workers. More money is being sunk into the state enterprises than is being earmarked for development projects or even for education.

ENGR KHURSHID ANWER,

Lahore, May 28.