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Bidding for First Women Bank, HBFC privatization by October

Bidding for First Women Bank, HBFC privatization by October

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Privatization Muhammad Mian Soomro on Wednesday chaired a meeting of privatization commission and reviewed the progress on outsourcing or selling public-owned entities.

The meeting approved transaction structures of Services Hotel Lahore, First Women Bank, Housing Building and Finance Corporation (HBFC), and Jinnah Convention Centre.

The bidding for these public-owned entities is expected to take place in the mid-October 2020.

Privatization of these institutions will help the country in paying off its debts, said Muhammad Mian Soomro and added that although coronavirus has delayed the privatization process in the country, however, they hope to expedite the process from now on.

On July 15, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar announced that the government was not privatizing the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) instead they would bid for running it on a joint venture.

“We will be running the steel mill in cooperation with the private investors,” he said while giving a briefing to a Senate standing committee on industries and production, headed by Senator Ahmed Khan.

He said that they had discussed the possibilities of a joint venture with 12 international organizations and six even visited to analyze over the possibility.

He said that in 2008, the steel mills had a fund of Rs 10 billion but it suffered losses after steel prices witnessed a decline in the international market in the following years.

Hammad Azhar said that in 2010, 4500 employees of the PSM got permanent status despite an already influx of employees and its average production came down to 40 percent and later further declined to six percent.