The Privatization Commission (PC) has sought early resolution of bottlenecks hampering the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).
PC board, which met here on Monday with Abid Hussain Bhayo in the chair, was apprised about the current status of PSM and some unresolved matters concerning its revival.
The board proposed for early resolution of these matters, involving all the stakeholders from the federal government.
The Board was also briefed about the privatization of House Building Finance Company Ltd. (HBFCL), The PC, with the aid of financial advisors, is already engaged in the marketing exercise of the entity. In this regard, a fresh expression of interest (EOI) and statement of qualifications (SOQ) has been advertised with October 17th and 31st 2022 as respective deadlines. The decision to advertise the EOI afresh was taken to make the transaction more competitive and transparent.
Government’s Share in PRCL to be Reserved
PC board also endorsed that the federal government must reserve its majority in the Pak Reinsurance Company Ltd. (PRCL) to maintain the majority shareholding of the government of Pakistan in the company.
In 2019, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) approved the divestment of 20 percent government’s shares of PRCL through a secondary public offering. The matter remained suspended on account of the absence of consensus among various stakeholders (Ministry of Commerce, Privatization Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, State Life Insurance Corporation) related to the maintenance of the majority government of Pakistan’s shareholding even after the divestment of 20% percent shares of PRCL.
The board decided to place its proposal in this regard before the upcoming meeting of CCoP for developing a consensus on a future action plan.
Issues in Privatization of SEL and PECO
The PC board’s approval was sought regarding the strategy to resolve different issues of Sindh Engineering Limited (SEL) and Pakistan Engineering Company (PECO) as both bodies have blocked the steps toward their privatization.
The board was apprised that the constitution of the SEL board and the appointment of a permanent Managing Director will enable the implementation of necessary decisions concerning its privatization. The Board members proposed that the matter may be placed before CCoP in its upcoming meeting.
The Board was also apprised of the overall progress in the privatization of state-owned enterprises, including PSM and HBFCL, National Power Parks Management Company, and Jinnah Convention Center.
Chairman PC Abid Hussain Bhayo emphasized that the ongoing privatization program and transactions included in it are going to be successful with robust coordination from the concerned ministries and divisions.
He further added that unless government builds a system of strong communication and cooperation among the stakeholders, the privatization plan will not run on a fast track.