‘Expert’ group expected to lead state-owned PSM’s revival

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ISLAMABAD: Although Pakistan Steel Mills’ (PSM) Board has yet to give the approval for the formation of an expert group of private steel companies and Hub Power Company Limited (HUBCO) to explore options for the revival of PSM, it has been learnt that Prime Minister Imran Khan has already given his own approval in this regard.

Sources in the concerned ministry informed Pakistan Today that the Adviser to the PM for Commerce, Textile and Industry Production Abdul Razak Dawood has received a nod of approval from the prime minister over the consultative arrangement involving an expert group to explore options for the re-operationalization of PSM.

An important meeting of the PSM board is scheduled for Monday to decide whether private steel companies and HUBCO group should take responsibility for the revival of PSM, said sources.

The sources added that the PSM board will also discuss the offers so far presented by Russia and China regarding the revival of PSM.

Adviser Razak Dawood, while setting aside Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) board of directors as well as Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules, has already decided to hand over the task of PSM revival to ‘favourite’ private steel mill companies and Hub Power Company Limited (HUBCO), said sources, adding, that the revival of PSM in the hands of private steel companies and HUBCO is a good example of conflict of interest as an expert group is tasked to devise plan for the revival of PSM, which is facing approximately Rs 475billion in losses.

They said that the ministry, in violation of rules, has advised the PSM board to approve the decision of handing over the revival of PSM to private companies. Similarly, by issuing advice, the ministry has surprisingly violated the rules of corporate governance as it interfered in the domain of PSM’s Board. Moreover, the ministry, while hiring the services of HUBCO and private steel companies, has not fulfilled the concerned PPRA rules.

Sources further said that few meetings of PSM officials were held with the HUBCO management and private steel companies in Karachi and the information and data of PSM was allegedly shared in violation of the rules and the regulations.

Responding to a letter of Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) over the proposed handing over of the revival plan of PSM to private companies, HUBCO, the board of Pakistan Steel has requested TIP to take up the matter with Ministry of Industries and Production.

It should also be noted that the ministry of industries, while making decisions regarding PSM is fully taking advantage of the absence of a CEO and CFO of the PSM as the important positions of chief executive officer of PSM has been vacant since April 2016 while there was no permanent chief financial officer of the state-owned PSM.

1 COMMENT

  1. Regarding revival of PSM, all above stated options are illogical and against business ethics, rather just beating about the bush. PSM should be run under public private partnership. All assets i.e land building and machinery all together make public partnership and the private partner may it be Chinese, Russian or any one else be other party PRIVATE putting their investment and become proportionate partner. This preposition may further be discussed with experts including senior technocrats of PSM to reach some workable plan.

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