ISLAMABAD - Speaking in the Upper House, Information Minister Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said cumulative losses of state owned enterprises including PIA, Steel Mills, PTV, PBC and Railways have reached to one trillion rupees during the last five years.
He said PIA has fourteen thousand employees and it incurred a loss of forty five billion rupees in 2017 while its overall loss is 356 billion rupees.
The Minister said PTV has ten thousand employees with a loss of ten billion rupees, if the subsidy given in bills is revoked. He said Pakistan Railways has seventy eight thousand employees and has a loss of 147 billion rupees.
The Minister said the loss making entities are a heavy burden on the national exchequer.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan informed the House that one hundred and eighty five industrial units emitting smoke are operating in I-9, I-10 and Kahuta Triangle areas of Islamabad.
He said thirty five steel units are also included in this number that are major source of air pollution.
Ali Muhammad Khan said these units are being regularly monitored by Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency that has been mandated for the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of environment in Islamabad Capital Territory.
The Minister said during a visit to the area by EPA team in August last year, three units were fined for non-compliance with environmental standards. In addition, four steel furnaces and rerolling mills were fined and sealed in June this year.
The EPA teams also inspected nineteen more steel units in July this year to ensure their compliance with the standards.
Ali Muhammad Khan said a thorough debate will be held in both houses of parliament on the issue of granting nationality to refugees living in the country.
He said point of view of both the houses will be taken into account before making any decision in this regard.
Speaking on the issue, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi said every child born in Pakistan is granted citizenship under section-4 of Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951.
Giving details of refugees living in Pakistan, the Minister said one point seven million Bengalis, 0.325 million Burmese, and 0.035 million others live in the country.
He said there are one point four million registered Afghan refugees in the country. In addition, 0.88 million people of Afghan origin are Afghan Citizen Card Holders while 0.5 million are unregistered.
Shehryar Khan Afridi said there are millions of people who are gypsies and have no identity card or other recognition. They also have a right to be granted citizenship on humanitarian grounds. He said the issue will be debated in detail before making any final decision.
The calling attention notice was moved by Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmad Muhammad Shahi of National Party.
Later, the house was adjourned to meet again on Friday at 10.30 a.m.