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Finance Ministry fails in hiring financial adviser for PSM

Finance Ministry fails in hiring financial adviser for PSM

ISLAMABAD: The Finance Ministry has failed in hiring financial adviser to seek a strategic partnership for Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) despite passage of six months of the decision.

“The Privatisation Commission (PC) took the decision in this regard on July 22 last year. However the process of hiring of financial advisor seeking a strategic partnership for PSM is still in progress,” a ministry source said.

He said that the Cabinet’s Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) approved the privatisation programme for early implementation which inter alia included privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills in a meeting held on October 3, 2013.

The source said that the PSM had suffered huge losses and its accumulated liabilities stood at over Rs 120 billon by the mid 2014.

“Despite several financial assistance packages between 2008-2014 the PSM has continued to fail in meeting its productivity benchmarks and keep performance indicators (KPIs) including capacity enhancement beyond 25% and resultantly a monthly salary impact of approximately Rs 900 million is being borne by government through the bailout package,” the source said, adding that the overall performance achievements and losses sustained by PSM in the past years were not pleasant.

The source said that the Privatisation Commission had conducted privatisation transactions of Rs 106 industrial units including units in automobile, cement, chemical, engineering, fertilizer, ghee, rice, roti plants and textile sectors so far.

“The industrial units were sold or privatised through various modes in accordance with the Privatization Commission Ordinance 2000,” the source said, adding that the rules and regulations like sale of assets and shares through public auction and tender public offering, management and employee buyouts were also followed in the light of the said ordinance.

The source observed that the units were sold to successful bidders the original owners from whom these units had been nationalized in the past, had also not been barred from participating in process of privatisation.

“Moreover, there is no such proposal under consideration of the government for handing over the industries to their original owners without following proper procedure of privatization,” the source said while responding to a question about the status of original owners of the state owned units on the privatisation list.

“In case government decides to further privatise industrial units the original owners can participate in the privatisation process,” the source added.