FIA yet to submit findings in Rs10bn copper theft probe at PSM

Real risks of false accusations

ISLAMABAD: The federal government continues to be awaiting the report of the Federal Investigation Company’s (FIA) investigation into the Rs10 billion copper theft from Pakistan Metal Mills, regardless of a lapse of 1 12 months, in accordance with officers from the federal authorities who knowledgeable a parliamentary panel on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Industries and Manufacturing (MoIP) had requested the FIA to launch a direct probe into the theft of belongings value Rs10 billion from Pakistan Metal Mills (PSM) final July. The ministry acknowledged in a letter to the company that the principle plant was not being shielded from thieves, indicating the involvement of safety personnel.

Preliminary inside investigations revealed the participation of senior administration officers, and the ministry forwarded their names to the FIA. Nonetheless, the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Manufacturing, chaired by Senator Khalida Ateeb, famous that no outcomes had emerged from the investigation up to now.

Pakistan Metal Mills has incurred important losses since 2008-09, resulting in its closure in 2015. Regardless of its closure, the federal government continues to allocate funds for the cost of salaries and pensions, costing taxpayers lots of of hundreds of thousands of rupees annually. As of June 2022, the whole losses, money owed, and liabilities of the mills reached Rs650 billion, with high-value theft exacerbating the losses.

Final July, the employees’ commerce union requested an investigation into the board of administrators (BoD) and administration, alleging administrative and monetary irregularities and negligence in defending nationwide belongings. Though the federal probing company initiated an investigation, no public stories or outcomes have been submitted to the federal government, in accordance with committee officers.

In the course of the committee assembly, officers supplied an replace on the retrenchment drive undertaken for the rehabilitation of Pakistan Metal Mills. They acknowledged that roughly 5,282 workers had been provided retrenchment with excellent dues and extra pay. Of these, 4,434 workers accepted the proposal, whereas 1,591 workers rejected it, and 42 workers sought authorized recourse. An allotted price range of Rs19.5 billion was designated for the retrenchment course of, Of which, roughly Rs12.5 billion has been launched to Pakistan Metal Mills, officers added.

Senator Khalida Ateeb inquired about new appointments after the retrenchment, however officers failed to offer a response. She directed Pakistan Metal Mills officers to offer full particulars of pre-retrenchment workers within the subsequent assembly. Moreover, Senator Khalida Ateeb raised issues concerning the alleged copper theft value roughly 10 billion rupees from Pakistan Metal Mills. Officers confirmed that the FIA was investigating the matter and guaranteed that the ultimate report can be submitted to the committee upon completion of the investigation.

The committee additionally addressed the appointment of Bashir Ahmad to the Pakistan Industrial Technical Help Centre (PITAC). Officers acknowledged that the person was initially appointed as an ‘Apprentice Engineer’ on a one-year contract, which was later prolonged for six months, with out point out of ‘Everlasting Employment.’ Nonetheless, the appointee claimed that a few of his colleagues with alleged faux levels had been provided everlasting employment after their one-year contracts. The chairman of the committee instructed the appointee to submit all related particulars for evaluation within the subsequent assembly.

With concerning to appointments at Utility Shops Company in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the previous 5 years, USC officers acknowledged that no new contracts or common appointments had been made, however 779 every day wage employees members had been employed for 89 days to facilitate the Sasta Atta Scheme operation.