Imran cautioned over delay in deciding fate of Steel Mills – Newspaper

ISLAMABAD: Stakeholders of the missing Pakistan Steel Mills have alerted Prime Minister Imran Khan about deliberate delays over interests created in the revival or sale of the country's largest industrial complex that has been bleeding for more than a decade.

Composed of employees, pensioners, suppliers, distributors and contractors, the PSM Stakeholder Group (PSMSG) said it was surprising to note that even at the end of the one-year tenure of the new government, Pakistan Steel Mills lacked an administrative structure or board directive. of directors and federal ministries still did not know how to address the PSM challenge.

The group's coordinator, Mumrez Khan, told Dawn that his advisors cheated the prime minister regarding the future roadmap for the PSM that closed since June 2015. He said the prime minister told him for the first time that the PSM would be revived through Sarmaya Pakistan Company, followed by its proposed improvement through a public-private partnership and then again placing the industrial complex on the active privatization list.

He said that the PSM had been closed by the PML-N government by reducing gas supplies and that the PTI government also did not appear to be different from the PML-N, since it also kept the huge industrial complex closed.

The stakeholder group says the advisors trick the prime minister about the future roadmap of the giant industrial complex

He said the PSMSG offered the government to help change the company by reviving its existing plant and expand its capacity three times to three million tons to stop its bleeding, reduce the loss of foreign exchange and help support the national industry and the economy, but His proposals were not entertaining.

In a letter to the Privatization Commission, the PSMC Stakeholder Group said its members were unknown victims of the Ministry of Industries and Production, as more than Rs80 billion of its members' fees and Rs190bn of other creditors were struck in the PSM, under the ministry As of July 2019, the total liabilities in Rs270bn against Rs217bn reported by the ministry to the prime minister earlier this month.

The letter said that the Ministry of Industries proposed to the Privatization Commission to go to a public-private partnership without the support of the board of directors of PSM (BoD) and the settlement of debts payable from creditors who have already filed cases in both local and foreign courts. . The measure, the letter said, was wrong, since the Privatization Commission could only carry out privatization and did not have the mandate of a public-private partnership.

The group said the PSM board did not function and had no president since March 28 of this year, while its administrative structure did not exist. The position of Permanent Executive Director (CEO) has been vacant since April 2016.

The PSM board requested the ministry of industries in September last year to appoint a permanent executive director and a financial director, but the request remains unanswered.

The position of permanent chief financial officer (CFO) has been vacant since January 2013 and that was the main cause of financial indiscipline in the industrial complex.

The group said the 4-year accounts of the PSM from July 2015 to June 2019 were not audited for reasons best known by the PSM and the ministry of industries. Therefore, there is also no authenticity of the debts and liabilities payable of Rs217bn cited to the prime minister on August 5, 2019.

PSM production came to an end in June 2015 due to the reduction of gas pressure by the gas company due to non-payment of bills and the government could not restore the process in a period of more of four years. There are several pending cases in the courts (local and abroad) filed by creditors and PSM. The PSM coke oven (COBP) battery plant and two of its batteries have been in heating mode since 2010 without coke production and consume gas that costs approximately Rs50 million per month, while their employees are never paid wages on time.

More than 5,000 employees retired during 2013-19 and the retirement fees of more than Rs17bn are also payable and that resulted in the freezing accounts of the Sindh High Court of the Ministry of Industries on August 20, 2019, until payment of the quotas.

Posted on Dawn, September 2, 2019



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