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ISLAMABAD: A review committee of the Privatisation Division on Wednesday discussed the measures taken for the revival of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), privatisation of two RLNG power plants, House Building Finance Corporation Limited (HBFCL) and First Women Bank Limited (FWBL).

Federal Minister and Chairman Privatisation Abid Hussain Bhayo chaired the meeting focusing on the progress so far made in the transaction of various entities to be privatised. Federal Secretary Privatisation Dr Irum A Khan, senior officials and consultants were present

The federal minister/chairman was briefed about the updated status of the privatisation of the PSM.

He was apprised that the meetings with the pre-qualified parties are underway as they have started their due-diligence process and on-site visits.

The federal minister desired that the PC should focus in order to resolve all the pending matters for the early revival of PSM, as it is one of the biggest entities on the active privatisation list and has incurred huge losses to the national exchequer since 2015.

In the review meeting, the transaction status of the NPPMCL was also discussed. The federal minister was informed that a series of meetings with stakeholders have been held on the debt and equity matters.

For that purpose, a plan of action has already been agreed upon regarding debt-refinancing for the plant from local and commercial banks. Once the debt-refinancing and recapitalization is finalized, the sale of equity shares will quickly follow.

The federal minister also reviewed the privati-sation of the HBFCL and First Women Bank Limited. The privatisation of the HBFCL will likely be completed in the current FY, as national and international investors have shown keen interest in it. The EOIs for the FWBL will be published after completion of the audit of its financials up to June 2022, the minister was briefed.

The privatisation of Discos was also discussed in the meeting. The working group formed for the revival of Discos had already given its proposals and subsequently, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) had approved the concession model and management contract model for the privatisation of 10 Discos.

The role of provincial government for salvaging the Discos was also discussed as it has become more crucial after the National Electrical Policy-2021.

Federal Minister Bhayo directed that all concerned must put concerted efforts for the materialisation of the privatisation goals.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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