Revival plan for PSM to be strictly followed, says minister

Published January 27, 2021
In this Feb 8, 2016 picture, a man walks past machines at the hot strip mill department of the Pakistan Steel Mills.—Reuters/File
In this Feb 8, 2016 picture, a man walks past machines at the hot strip mill department of the Pakistan Steel Mills.—Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The current status and progress as well as probable timeline for the completion of the transaction of Pakistan Steel Mills were discussed at a high-level meeting chaired jointly by the ministers for privatisation and industries and production on Tuesday.

The valuation of core assets to be transferred to a new subsidiary is under way and will likely be completed by Jan 31, 2021. Moreover, other matters relating to the use of a jetty, registration of a new subsidiary and others were deliberated upon in detail.

The revival of PSM would be undertaken as per the approved decision of the Cabinet Committee on Pri­vatisation and subsequently by the federal cabinet. As per the decision, the core assets of the PSM would be transferred to a subsidiary owned wholly by the PSM which will be followed by the sale of majority shares of the subsidiary thus formed without transfer of full ownership.

The Ministry of Privatisa­tion is actively following the scheme of arrangement and transaction structure is already approved.

Minister for Privatisation Muhammadmian Soomro stated during the meeting that “we must strictly follow the timeline and complete the task in the defined period” and both the ministers expressed their resolve to extend their support to the maximum extent to solve the issues which may have arisen.

Meanwhile, in Karachi the PSM management on Jan 25 deposited a second tranche of Rs20 million in the form of 13 cheques for PSM’s retired employees to the Regional Head Office of the Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution (EOBI).

On Jan 19, the PSM management by using its internal resources had submitted Rs50m as the first instalment in the form of 29 cheques to EOBI.

A spokesperson for the PSM said that the steel mill has not been able to deposit the amount of monthly EOBI deduction since 2015 due to financial problems. The amount was deducted from the monthly salaries of the employees but the steel mill did not deposit this amount to EOBI.

Separately, Mr Soomro chaired a detailed meeting regarding solution of the loss-making electricity distribution companies (Discos). Following the directions of the prime minister and to bring efficiency in the power sector, the Privatisation Commission has initiated the process under which proper mapping of Discos will be carried out by the commission.

The CCoP on Jan 4 decided that the Ministry of Privatisation would expedite privatisation/management contracts relating to Discos.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2021

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