Govt making efforts for revival of PSM: Senate told

ISLAMABAD, Aug 18 (APP):Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Tuesday informed the Senate that the government had been making continuous efforts for the revival and profitability of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).

Responding to questions during question hour he said, β€œVarious options are under consideration to run the PSM and earlier an expert committee suggested the government to not go for all an out privatization and joint ownership should run the PSM affairs.”

In the past, financial assistance had been provided to PSM to enhance its capacity but the operations of the mills came to a complete halt due to dis-connectivity of gas supply to PSM by SSGC on account of accumulated liabilities, he added.

In 2019 Pakistan Steel Mills, he said, was placed on the privatization list in line with the decision of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet dated 3rd May, 2019.

Subsequently, Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP), the minister said, vide its decision dated 17th June, 2019 also directed to immediately advertise for the recruitment of a Transaction Advisor.

With regards to the appointment of Transaction Advisor, Financial Advisor (FA) had been engaged by Privatization Commission (PC) who was evaluating the best possible option for the revival of PSM on the basis of various parameters finalized in consultation with PC.

At present, draft due diligence reports on different aspects of PSM prepared by FA were under discussion of PC’s Evaluation Committee. He said that head of PSM had been appointed on merit.

State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that countries and international organizations had committed to provide an amount of US$ 3302.06 million to Pakistan as loans, grants and technical assistance in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Out of total committed amount, US$ 2660.35 million had been disbursed so far among the provinces, he added.

He said despite financial constraints, the government launched a massive relief package under Ehsaas Program on a non-political basis to help the poor in the wake of COVID-19