The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production was held on Thursday in Parliament House.
The meeting was chaired by Senator Syed Faisal Ali Subzwari. Members who attended were Senator Falak Naz, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman, Senator Muhammad Abdul Qadir, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Hidayat Ullah, Senator Imamuddin Shouqeen and senior officers from the Ministry of Industries and Production along with all concerned.
Deliberation entailed over rising steel prices and functions and performance of Utility Stores.
The Committee discussing issues pertaining to Steel Mills raised concerns regarding price rise and its impact on Circular Debt. Members were of the view that this would affect the PM Housing Scheme and other residential projects benefitting the common man. Chairman Committee, Senator Syed Faisal Ali Sabzwari directed the Ministry to share details of price reduction possibilities along with its financial impact with the Committee.
Reviewing the performance of Utility Stores, the Committee was of the view that stringent measures must be taken to curb pilferage, theft and other irregularities. It recommended that these stores must resort to the ERP system which will keep logistics in check. Regarding subsidies, the Committee stressed the need for benefits to trickle down to the neediest. It recommended franchising. The Ministry informed the Committee that the Government plans to make these stores into a targeted subsidy tool. It informed the Committee that 90 stores were running in loss due to providing facilities to residents in far flung areas that have no resort to the outside world. To control losses the Government plans to cross-subsidize goods. The Committee was informed that 50+ units were operating in FATA and PATA. The Committee, on request of the Ministry, agreed to take up the issue after 90 days on completion of the computerization and barcoding exercise, crucial for the progress of the organization.