ISLAMABAD: Though the government has decided in principle to sell-off Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) at its meeting on Monday could not decide on enlisting the PSM on the privatisation agenda since the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) failed to submit its proposal, informed sources told Dawn.
Last month, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet had approved the proposal to privatise PSM which was subsequently endorsed by the Federal Cabinet.
The CCOP is the only forum which can enlist public sector entities on the privatisation agenda.
According to sources privy to the information, the Privatisation Commission is likely to include PSM on the privatisation agenda once CCOP grants approval to the proposal. The commission is fully prepared to implement the decision, the sources added.
At Monday’s meeting, chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, CCOP directed the MoIP to submit the proposal on PSM at its next meeting scheduled for next week.
The issue of delisting of House Building Finance Corporation Ltd (HBFC) from the privatisation agenda was also recommended to be presented in the next meeting.
The previous finance secretary had recommended the CCOP to delist HBFC from the agenda since the corporation was performing well. The current finance secretary sought time from the CCOP to review the case, and said the proposal will be submitted at the next meeting.
While presenting the report of the Task Force on Energy Reforms, Ministry of Energy briefed the committee about the challenges being faced by the distribution companies (DISCOs).
The meeting also discussed various measures recommended by the task force to improve energy sector’s performance with a focus on reduction of losses and enhancing the efficiency of DISCOs.
The CCOP also directed the Ministry of Energy officials to submit proposals aimed at accelerating closure of those power generation companies that have outlived their recommended life and incurring losses.
Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2019