SC wants Punjab to shut down 56 govt companies

ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government has decided to shut down “unnecessary” companies opened during previous tenures.

Punjab Advocate General Sardar Ahmed Jamal Sukhera informed the Supreme Court (SC) about this decision during a hearing on Monday. But Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed asked why they weren’t shutting down all 56 companies. He said the Punjab government is starting to operate like the East India Company.

Will the government implement its own laws through these companies, he asked.

Justice Ahmed was hearing a case filed by NAB on irregularities in these 56 companies. He said there was once a company named the East India Company. And what did it end up doing, he asked in court. Is the Punjab government starting the same thing, he asked.

He said the Punjab government has been granted enough time to shut down the companies. “Now solve the problem.”

The companies aren’t able to deliver, he said, adding that the government must do its own work.

Some people hadn’t returned their salaries and bonuses despite the court order. The NAB prosecutor-general told the court that a reference would be filed against those people.

The advocate-general said the Punjab chief minister has set up a steering committee. The public is benefitting from 37 of these companies, he said, adding that there are some legal questions which the steering committee will cooperate with the court on.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan said the Punjab government must first look over the NAB report and submit a reply.

The hearing was adjourned for a month.

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