ISLAMABAD: The government has refused to answer the questions raised by the opposition – during question hour in Senate – regarding the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) closure and returning its machinery to Russia. Members of upper house of parliament also protested over the scam in which some influential people had gathered Rs 200 million from candidates by swindling them on pretext of giving them jobs at the Utility Stores Corporation. It was asked that why candidates were directed to take written test twice, and why double fees was collected from them. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal told the house that candidates failed to meet required merit so they were asked to re-appear in the written test, despite the fact that it was facing financial constraints. The Senate chairman asked the minister that why this was not done before taking the written test. “If funds were not available, why advertisement for appointments was floated in the media,” he asked. Replying to a question, Ahsan Iqbal informed the Senate that the government was making efforts to make recruitments in government departments. He assured the house that all the provinces would be given their rights according to quota in fresh appointments. The Senate was told that after the establishment of Benazir Income Support Programme, some 5,562,074 people have got benefit from it. “The BISP has now identified some 7.81 million deserving persons,” the Senate heard. It was told that under the phase-I of the Poverty Score Card Survey, 16 districts were added to the programme to update their data. The minister said that the economy of the country was improving and the rate of GDP was also more than the previous government. “The rate of unemployment and inflation has also dropped down,” he added.