Privatization plan rest, PSM to be run on joint venture: Azhar

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Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Wednesday announced that the government was not privatizing the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) instead they would bid for running it on a joint venture.
“We will be running the steel mill in cooperation with the private investors,” he said while giving a briefing to a Senate standing committee on industries and production, headed by Senator Ahmed Khan.
He said that they had discussed the possibilities of a joint venture with 12 international organizations and six even visited to analyze over the possibility.
He said that in 2008, the steel mills had a fund of Rs 10 billion but it suffered losses after steel prices witnessed a decline in the international market in the following years.
Hammad Azhar said that in 2010, 4500 employees of the PSM got permanent status despite an already influx of employees and its average production came down to 40 percent and later further declined to six percent.
“In 2015, the PSM was shut down and the employees and pensioners received billions of rupees in terms of salaries and pension during the next five years till 2020,” he said adding that the mill had an influx of employees, making its operations difficult.
It is pertinent to mention here that on June 09, federal cabinet meeting held under the chair of Imran Khan concluded in Islamabad and decided in principle to privatise Pakistan Steel Mills.
The federal cabinet formally agreed upon the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) suggestion to privatise the public-owned steel mill.