ISLAMABAD: Reviewing progress in efforts aimed at reviving the Pakistan Steel Mills, the ministries of privatisation, maritime, and industries and production and the PSM discussed corporate matters related to the mill.

It was agreed that corporate matters for the completion of the transaction would be resolved on a priority basis with the engagement of all stakeholders.

The meeting took place on Thursday following a session at the Privatisation Commission (PC) with the pre-qualified bidders of the PSM. The meeting was informed that Pakistan is offering these pre-qualified bidders access to a huge market for steel with potential for exports across the globe.

The four pre-qualified bidders include BaoSteel Group Xinjiang Bayi Iron and Steel Company, Tangshan Donghua Iron and Steel Enterprise Group Company, Tianjin Jianlong Iron and Steel Industry, and Maanshan Iron and Steel Company, which are the leading steel manufacturers globally.

Chairing the meeting, Minister for Privatisation, Mir Abid Hussain Bhayo, said that the biggest advantage for the potential bidder would be the encumbrances free entity as the PSM has been insulated from all legacy issues, including financial and human resource liabilities.

Mr Bhayo said that the government’s investment policy provides both domestic and foreign investors the same incentives, concessions, and facilities for industrial development. “Pakistan is an ideal place for foreign investment and we are keen to provide investors with a friendly regime as we believe in the ease of doing business. We will facilitate the investors up to the maximum and will welcome the site visit of PSM from the pre-qualified bidders.

Speaking at the occasion, PC Chairman Saleem Ahmad said that the revitalisation of PSM is vital for the country’s economic growth. The proposed plan not only envisages foreign direct investment and employment generation but also the creation of productive capacity necessary to sustain domestic infrastructure development with excess steel slated for export from Pakistan’s strategic geo-location. He further noted the importance of Pakistan’s fraternal ties with China in enabling a long-term partnership to benefit the people of both countries.

The team on the government side responded to queries and enquiries from the pre-qualified bidders during the meeting. The pre-qualified bidders inquired about the potential time line for the approval of the scheme of arrangement, including the transaction structure of PSMC, valuation procedure, likely dilution of government of Pakistan shares, utility connections and use of jetty and land lease agreements.

The PC said after the pre-qualification of bidders, the buyer’s side due diligence was initiated by granting access to the Virtual Data Room (VDR) since March.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2022

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