ISLAMABAD - As Pakistan Steel Mills has already drained down tax payers’ Rs 6 billion in name of bailout the management now seeks yet another Rs 9 billion for the white elephant’s revival.
The management of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) has moved a summary through the Ministry of Production seeking another Rs.09 billion bailout package as it has already consumed Rs.6 billion in the same account. “Now the PSM is asking for another huge chunk of money as working capital just to keep the company going,” an official told Online on condition of anonymity. “Even this second package of Rs 09 billion hardly guarantees the revival of state-owned steel giant’s profitability,” he added.
According to the official, the real ill with the PSM was overstaffing and that on purely political grounds. “Ironically, this has been done by almost all the parties influential in Karachi over the period of time,” he added. The official was not quite hopeful of the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (today) to consider the problem of overstaffing at the PSM as its main anomaly among others including corruption and mismanagement. “Since this is a political coalition government, they (cabinet members) would just look up to the Finance Ministry for release of funds one way or the other,” the official observed.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet had already approved a bailout package of Rs.11 billion for Pakistan Steel Mills in December last year out of which Finance Ministry had provided a government guarantee to the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) for Rs 6 billion. Due to delay in the releases of Rs.6 billion funds to Pakistan Steel Mills, PSM has lost Rs.4 billion and now the management wanted to enhance its business plan from Rs.11 billion to Rs.15 billion.
A business plan was presented by PSM last year which envisaged fresh injections of Rs 11 billion inclusive of governmental help to pick interest for three years of Rs 5.12 billion against the issuance of shares.
Pakistan Steel suffered a loss of Rs 26.5 billion in 2008-09 followed by a loss of Rs 11.5 billion in 2009-10.And, a loss of Rs 11.4 billion in 2010-11.The Federal government injected Rs 10 billion in 2009.And, Rs 10.6 billion again in 2010.Still the mill is losing one billion a month.
The management also provided a CAPEX plan of Rs 32.5 billion to the Cabinet Committee on Restructuring (CCoR)on November 25 last year.