Sindh government has asked the federal government to provide incentives package to Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), restore gas supply to the mill and give detailed financial and technical report of PSM privatisation to the province.

PPP Senator Saleem Mandviwalla has said that government of Sindh, through a letter, has replied to Privatisation Commission and asked to provide its own assessment of the PSM from financial as well as technical aspects and share the findings/report of such due diligence.

Sindh government has said that any decision on PSM has far-reaching consequences and as such, requires a detailed technical and financial analysis and due diligence.

Demanding restoration of gas supply, Mandviwalla said, “Since gas supply has been disconnected to the PSM for the last few months, therefore the federal government confirm whether there have been any permanent damages to the mill’s equipment due to this gas closure or not.” We urge the centre to restore the gas supply to the PSM immediately to avoid any permanent damage to the national asset, he added.

He said that regardless of who ultimately manages the PSM, it is regrettable that the government has not made any commitment towards its revival. “The burden of revival of PSM cannot be shifted by the federal government to any other entity without a clear commitment of GoP that must be communicated before any plans for divestment are put into place,” he said.

Sindh government has said, “The past trend of the privatisation suggests that the GoP has taken up or cleared the liabilities of any public sector enterprise that is privatised, so as to make the transaction more bankable and in some cases. GoP has also made sizeable injection of fresh equity into such entities. To date, no such incentive package has been shared regarding the PSM”.

PPP senator said, “It is our considered opinion that it still is not too late to plan a revival of the PSM as it was barely a few months ago that PSM was operational and trained manpower is still available.”

“But if the operational assets are closed down for prolonged period or the skilled manpower leaves PSM due to accelerated pace of retirements or even due to golden handshake/retrenchment, the option of reviving this strategic asset would not even be available,” the PPP senator said.

He said that the provincial government cannot act in haste without appropriate due diligence and clarity regarding accompanying incentives. “Hence we are requesting PML-N government to inform of an appropriate “incentive package” for the revival of the PSM and also share with us the technical due diligence report about the PSM operational assets. Upon receipt of such information, the Sindh govt shall be in a position to take a final decision to this effect,” he said.

Sindh’s reply letter to PC said, “Government of Sindh has been evaluating the various dimensions of the offer received from the government of Pakistan through your good offices, regarding the acquisition of the PSM”.