Thursday September 23, 2021

‘EOIs for Pakistan Steel to be invited soon’

‘EOIs for Pakistan Steel to be invited soon’

ISLAMABAD: The government will soon invite expression of interest (EOIs) related to sale of core operating assets to the private sector, privatisation minister said on Friday.

“We are resolving the pending matters in collaboration with the main stakeholders and the EOIs are likely to be invited very soon,” Minister for Privatisation Mohammedmian Soomro said during the fifth Privatisation Commission Board meeting of the current year.

Secretary Privatisation, Pakistan Steel Mills CEO, representative from the ministry of industry and production, PC Board members and senior officers of the ministry attended the meeting.

The main agenda was related to the revival of PSM. There were few corporate actions which were to be performed by the stakeholders including the ministry of industries and Pakistan Steel Mills. The matters leading to the filing of the scheme of arrangement with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan were discussed in the meeting, which included updated financial reports of the PSMC and its subsidiary, approval of the board for transferring the utility connections to the newly formed subsidiary without encumbrances, approval for the retention of the new subsidiary either by the government or PSMC and the desired size of divestment among others.

The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation last year approved the sale of PSM’s core operating assets to the private sector.

The government booked around Rs45 billion in losses and Rs96 billion in liabilities related to the PSM from July 2018 to December 2020. Besides multibillion rupees plants, the PSM also owns 1,230 acres of land.

The government was weighing an option to rejuvenate the PSM under the public-private partnership mode in phases.

Soomro recently expressed serious concerns over the delay in resolving issues related to PSM privatisation. In a weekly meeting, he said the issues should be taken up with ministry of industries. Revival of PSMC would be a great boost for the economy, he said.

Privatisation Commission Board also briefed the meeting about the updated decisions of CCoP regarding the approval of revised reserved price of the Services International Hotel Lahore, the current status of the privatisation of Jinnah Convention Centre was also discussed, and the prequalification of the interested parties is underway. The board was informed that the EOIs for hiring of financial advisers for the sale of remaining federal government properties have already been published.