Delay in delivery of cars worries parliamentarians

EDB official briefs NA panel on new entries in auto sector

Our Correspondent June 01, 2021


A parliamentary panel on Monday expressed serious concern over the late delivery of cars by Morris & Garage (MG) company.

Taking up the matter, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Industries and Production expressed concern over the extra money being charged by the dealers and the issues being faced by the general public due to delay in delivery by the company.

The committee unanimously decided that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) may be invited to the next meeting of the committee.

Meanwhile, the Engineering Development Board (EDB) general manager briefed the committee about the new entries into the automobile sector and their performance.

The Privatisation Commission director general also briefed the committee about salient features of the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and its retrenchment plan including the remuneration package policy.

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He informed the committee regarding the procedure adopted by the Privatisation Commission for the evaluation of assets of PSM but did not clarify the factors causing losses. The Ministry of Industries and Production joint secretary said that pensions of retired employees of the steel mill had already been disbursed by the department.

The director general also told the National Assembly panel that the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP), in its meeting held on June 17, 2019, directed the Privatisation Commission to immediately advertise for the hiring of a transaction adviser for PSM committee (PSMC), ie to bring in a party for the revival of PSM without transfer of full ownership. The Privatisation Commission board approved the initiation of process for the hiring of financial adviser of PSMC.

Committee members expressed grave concern over the delay in hiring the financial adviser and hurdles in the way of privatising PSM from 2006-2021. The Privatisation Commission director general pointed out that 1,228 acres of land would be allocated on lease to a new subsidiary, but did not give details of the remaining land and settlement of liabilities.

The committee chairman showed his apprehension over the valuation of the said land, saying that fresh land valuation should be made by the government at market prices.

The committee also discussed that the government of Sindh may be taken on board before finalising the bid process to avoid any further delay in the revival of PSM. After detailed discussions, the committee decided that all stakeholders would be invited to the next meeting. The committee directed the industries ministry secretary to address the problems being faced in relation to security issues at PSM.

The secretary immediately directed the chief security officer of PSM to send a letter to the Sindh home secretary and Inspector General of Police, Sindh.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2021.

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