Govt Seeks SSGC’s NOC to fast-track Steel Mills sale

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It is to be noted that the government has targeted to hold bidding of the majority stakes’ sale of the Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation (PSMC) in March-April 2022.

On Wednesday, Federal Minister for Privatisation Mohammedmian Soomro and Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar jointly chaired a meeting regarding transactions of the PSM and Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC).

Federal secretaries of privatisation, Power Division, Petroleum Division, Industries and the representatives of the Ministry of Industries & Production, Finance, SSGC, HEC and financial advisors also attended the meeting.

The government has already submitted the scheme of arrangement (SOA) of the PSM to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and sought its approval on it.

An official said that the SECP has replied to the Privatisation Commission to clear some of the pending issues, including clearance of liabilities, following which the regulator could approve the SOA.

Consequently, the relevant ministries and departments held the meeting and discussed these issues with major focus on the availability of utility connections to the newly formed subsidiary of PSMC, its liabilities towards SSGC and issuance of NOC from SSGC, which was mandatory for seeking approval for SOA from the SECP.

Officials informed that the transaction of PSM was at an advanced stage along with the status of corporate actions to be completed prior to the revival of the PSMC.

SSGC was asked to take up the matter in its board meeting and issue the requisite NOC so that the process of privatisation/revival of PSM could be completed without hindrance in stipulated time.

They also discussed the matter regarding the extension of the validity of type testing licence for HEC by the Power Division.

Soomro said that this extension would incentivise the potential buyer(s) of HEC and also provide them a ground to start manufacturing the transformers without any break.

It was proposed that the subject matter would be taken up with the National Transmission & Dispatch Company Limited (NTDC) and after exhausting this option it would be taken to the CCoP for clear directions, before the bidding date of HEC.

The privatisation minister later also chaired a meeting to review the progress in various ongoing transactions. He was briefed that the bidding of HEC was expected in mid-January, 2022.

He was also briefed that top international investors were pre-qualified for PSM and a report would be formulated for the approval pre-qualification committee and PC Board.

Regarding National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL) it was briefed that the, debt-refinancing process would be started soon after approval of CCoP.

The minister was also briefed about the updated status of House Building Finance Corporation Limited (HBFCL), First Women Bank Limited (FWBL), Pak re-insurance Limited (PRCL), and DISCOs.

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