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Pakistan Steel Mills to not be privatised, decides ECC

November 07, 2018

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This photo depicts a worker at Pakistan steel Mills — Dawn/File
This photo depicts a worker at Pakistan steel Mills — Dawn/File

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday approved of the Board of Privatisation Commission's decision against the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).

This is in line with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's earlier decision of opposing the previous government's attempts to privatise the steel mill, along with at least 35 other public sector entities.

On October 30, the Board of the Privatisation Commission — in its first meeting since the PTI came into power — had decided to take the names of PSM and the Pakistan International Airlines off the list of state-owned entities (SOEs) set to be privatised.

The decision was then forwarded to Cabinet Committee on Privatisation on October 31, which also approved of it.

Today's meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar, also approved the release of the September salaries of Pakistan Steel Mill employees and the release of Rs1 billion to pay off four months worth of pension to the widows of retired employee.

The ECC also asked the Ministry of Production to come up with a proposal to resolve the issues surrounding PSM on a permanent basis.

The import of 50,000 tonnes of urea was also approved by the meeting.

The ECC also issued orders to provinces, asking them to keep a check on cement prices after it was found that dealers are involved in hiking up the price of the product.

The quota for SAARC food banks was also increased to 80,000 million tonnes from 40,000 million tonnes.

The power division was ordered to submit a report on the matter of Pakistan State Oil's receivables reaching Rs 320bn.