KARACHI: The privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) has finally drawn the attention of Sindh government but it is reluctant to take any decision to acquire the mills without going through the details of its assets and balance sheet.
While responding to a letter of Privatisation Commission Chairman Mohammad Zubair, which he had addressed to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Finance and Energy Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has categorically said that the Sindh government had never approached the federal government for acquiring the strategic asset of PSM.
Murad Ali Shah further said in his letter to the chairman privatisation commission dispatched on Monday that the offer made by the Privatisation Commission could not be considered in the absence of adequate information. He requested the federal government to help the Sindh government in making a fair decision by providing necessary information of the assets.
The PSM’s necessary information, as requested by the Sindh finance minister, includes balance sheet and financial statement for last five years, details list of assets of the mills, any transaction structure developed by federal government for PSM’s privatisation highlighting the government of Pakistan’s commitment to make the transaction viable for buyer, any strategy paper revealing in detail the nature of intervention the federal government intends to carry out for making this deal acceptable for the buyer and any tax policy which envisaged to make the revival of the PSM attractive for the buyer and any plan for revival of operation of PSM.
Murad Shah has also drawn the attention of the federal government towards the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s Constitution and civil petitions wherein the court had observed that it would be in order if the matter (Privatisation of PSM) is referred to the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for consideration. He also urged the federal government to share the information with the Sindh government if it has taken this matter to CCI.