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The government will move towards Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) privatization after debt restructuring, said Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Friday.

The federal minister said that the previous two governments could not rehabilitate or privatize the steel mills and in the past five years Rs 35 billion taxpayers' money have been given to the PSM employees.

He said that it was not possible to continue recruiting in government departments despite sustaining deficits. Hammad said that PSM went into loss-making in 2008-09 was closed in 2015.

The Federal Minister said that the debt of steel mills stands at Rs211 billion and has sustained losses of Rs176bn.

He said that the employees of Steel Mills would be given an average of Rs2.3 million in terms of Golden Handshake, while some would get Rs7 million.

"We want to run the steel mills with a private partnership. After restructuring the debts of the steel mills, we will move towards privatization," he said.

In his address to the Senate, Hamad Azhar said that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) reports on Pakistan were available on its website. "The IMF also helped us in the coronavirus crisis. In the current crisis, we do not want to take steps that would affect the economy," he said.

Regarding electric vehicles in Pakistan, Hamad Azhar said that they want to promote the electric vehicles policy, an agreement has been reached with the Ministry of Climate Change and Science and Technology on electric two-wheelers, buses and trucks.

"We will soon take up the matter with the Economic Co-ordination Committee, and soon we will have an agreement on electrical four-wheelers," he said.