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PSM liabilities settlement plan ready

Updated March 07, 2018

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KARACHI: A man walks past machines at the hot strip mill department of the Pakistan Steel Mills in this file photo.—Reuters
KARACHI: A man walks past machines at the hot strip mill department of the Pakistan Steel Mills in this file photo.—Reuters

ISLAMABAD: A high-level meeting of the Privatisation Commission on Tuesday decided that the draft agreement for the settlement of Pakistan Steel Mills liabilities should be shared with stakeholders for consultation and input.

The draft agreement was read out in the presence of legal advisers during the meeting. It was endorsed by the Ministry of Finance representative, and agreed to be presented in the respective boards of National Bank of Pakistan, Sui Southern Gas Company and the State Bank of Pakistan.

The matter of settlement of Steel Mills employees’ dues and liabilities was also discussed. The meeting resolved that retired and serving employees would be honoured in accordance with the employees’ preference.

Minister for Privatisation, Daniyal Aziz chaired the meeting with the officials of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Ministry of Finance, Pak China Investment Company Limited, and Pakistan Steel Mills Limited (PSML). The meeting discussed the long outstanding issue of PSM major liabilities, prior to proceeding with the proposed lease model of Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation (PSMC).

Mr Aziz apprised the meeting that in a recent meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP), the transaction structure and broad-level liability settlement plan of the PSMC were discussed. The CCoP has directed the Privatisation Commission to move ahead with privatisation or restructuring of PSMC in a transparent manner, the minister added.

The minister reiterated the government’s resolve to embark upon a comprehensive liability settlement plan by taking relevant stakeholders on board.

Mr Aziz urged NBP, SSGC and the Finance Division to extend maximum support so that the issues of settlement of PSMC liabilities could be resolved in an amicable manner.

The officials of finance ministry, NBP and SSGC assured their complete cooperation to resolve the issue of their outstanding dues towards PSMC. NBP and SSGC, however, explained that they will have to seek permission of their respective boards as well as other related forums for any waiver that might be given to PSMC.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2018