After Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), one more government owned enterprise, the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) has become a defaulter, instigating the Ministry of Industries and Production to craft a plan for closing thousand outlets and laying off two thousand employees.
Previously during the government of Pakistan Peoples Party, the Utility Stores Corporation had been operating the business in profit by selling commodities to the low-income families at a reduced-price throughput the country.
But, now it seems that the USC has shifted from profit generation to loss making that is running in billions of rupees.
As per a senior official of the government, the Ministry of Industries has recommended that the government either should make an announcement of a bailout package or just close thousand utility stores and lay off two-thousand staff employees.
The PSM and PIA are already running on the critical support from the bailout packages as their losses have and are still increasing.
USC recorded a loss of rupees 1.36 billion in the first quarter of the present fiscal year 2017-2018.
The Ministry of Industries and Production has accused the nomination of the private-sector members on the USC board of directors for the loss, informing that they had no prior experience of the working with any utility stores.
Other than just the lack of experience, the appointment of the private sector directors on the board of USC also proved to be the reason of dispute.
As per the government official, the Ministry of Industries would be submitting a plan to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for closing thousand retail USC outlets and for laying off two thousand staff workers to combat with the increasing losses.
The income of these outlets has reduced to less than rupees 0.1 million per month.
Utility Stores Corporation has got five thousand five hundred outlets throughout Pakistan and has a total of fourteen thousand five hundred employees.
The Ministry proposed bailout package is of rupees 3.4 billion.