ISLAMABAD – The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday approved two-month salaries for the workers of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and the provision of Gratuity and Provident Funds for the retired PSM employees.

The top economic decision making body of the country, in a meeting headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar here, also approved exemption from all taxes and duties on the import of 35 armoured and security vehicles for the foreign dignitaries. The decision has been taken in the view of upcoming SAARC conference and other future events.

The ECC also okayed the proposal by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to allow PSO to finalise the Addendum to the existing product sale and purchase contract with Kuwait Petroleum Corporation for the supply of furnace oil and jet fuel in order to improve the payment terms.

In order to facilitate the employees of PSM on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, the ECC considered and approved the salaries for April and May, amounting to Rs760 million.

The salaries will be paid before Eid, as directed by the chair. The ECC, in its meeting held on June 28, 2016, had considered a summary moved by the Privatisation Division and approved two-month salaries for the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) i.e.February and March 2016.For the retired PSM employees, the provision of Gratuity and Provident Funds, amounting to Rs322.021 million, was also approved by ECC.

The Gratuity payment to the retired Steel Mill employees has been due since April 2013 and Provident Fund since April 2015.The meeting was informed that all the payments on both these accounts had been cleared before the above-mentioned period.

The PSM is not in a position to pay salaries and other incentives to its workers, as the country’s largest industrial unit is not operational since July last due to suspension of gas supply because of the non-payment of bills worth Rs35 billion

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