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Islamabad: Privatisation Commission on Friday held meeting with renowned investors' consortium from Korea and China as part of roadshows on revival of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).

According to the Ministry of Privatisation, it has started a series of roadshows with international and national investors for the revival of PSM. Federal Minister for Privatisation Mohammedmian Soomro, Federal Secretary Privatisation, financial and legal advisors and senior officers of the Ministry responded to the queries from the potential investors.

PSM is non- functional since 2015, and the government has come up with a unique and feasible transaction structure for the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills - the 51% to 74% shares of newly carved out subsidiary of PSM namely Steel Corp would be divested through a competitive and transparent bidding process.

After the publication of EoIs renowned national and international investors consortiums responded; consequently, the Ministry arranged for the roadshows from September 13 to continue till September 23. So far leading investors consortiums from China, Korea and Russia have interacted with and shown a keen interest in the investment potential of Pakistan in general and Steel Mills in particular.

Federal Minister Mohammed Mian Soomro reiterated today that "we welcome the foreign investment in Pakistan and as per the vision of PM we will provide all possible facilities/support and necessary information to investors. The revival of Pakistan steel Mills and its functioning on its full capacity is the prime focus of this whole process, its revival would augur well for the economy of the country by fulfilling the indigenous demand for iron and steel, which currently is imported from China, Germany and Japan.

Privatisation Commission set to give final nod to PSM revival plan

"The revival of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSMC) would be a unique transaction on account of the fact that, after the closure of Steel Mills and various attempts to revive it, this is the first time after 16 years that we have come this far due to the unrelenting efforts from the Ministry. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of next year."

PSMC Stakeholders Group (PSM employees serving/retired, contractors, dealers, suppliers and creditors) headed by Mumrez Khan has registered strong protest and drew the attention of Prime Minister towards the recent non-transparent move by Privatization Commission for privatisation of PSM by inviting Expression of Interests (EoI) from the interested private parties/ investors for acquisition of 51%-74% issued share capital together with management control of the Steel Corp (Pvt) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of PSMC.

According to Group, this action of PC inviting "EoI & Road Show" was taken without deriving any lessons from previously attempted 'PSM Privatisation scam-2006' which was annulled by the Supreme Court of Pakistan through historic verdict in CP 9/2006. The present similar attempt by PC is full of flaws, irregularities and without protecting the interests of stakeholders/nation will further lead to financial disaster and losses to the national exchequer.

The group also submitted facts for consideration to review the non-transparent privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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