Govt decides to privatise PSM: Hamad

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Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, terming political point-scoring over the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) privatisation unfortunate, said on Thursday the government decided to privatise the national entity to bring it out of losses.
“The Pakistan Steel Mills is a huge burden on taxpayers,” he told a press conference. He said salaries amounting to Rs55 billion were paid to around 9,000 employees of the non-operational mill.
The minister said a Rs90 billion bailout package was given to the mill in the past in an effort to revive it but to no avail. He added the federal government has been doling out Rs700 million every month to pay salaries and interest as the debt of the Steel Mills has ballooned to Rs230 billion.
Hammad Azhar disclosed fifteen parties have evinced interest in purchasing stakes in the PSM. He cleared that only the core Steel Mills operation will be privatised and not the land of the entity.
He said the employees of the Steel Mills will be relieved in two phases with payment of their retirement dues and one month salary.