Pakistan Steel Mills,
headquatered in the economic capital of Pakistan is the only state owned
enterprise which produce steel and other heavy metals from ores. Built in 1970s
by the cooperation of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The foundation stone
of PSL was laid by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan. The
project was in the process of completion by January 1985. The initial idea for
this gigantic production unit was put forwad by Council of Scienific and
Industrial Research (PCSIR) which conceived a five years plan for the launch of
the project. After 20 years of policy development and studies by PCSIR General
Yaha Khan, the then president of Pakistan gave approval to the plans of PCSIR.
Contacts were made with United States but they had given a cold shoulder to it
and the techno-financial assistance was contributed by USSR for the construction
of Steel Mills based in Karachi. Theoperational capacity was never fully
utilized by the succeeding governments.
A controversial attempt to privatize the PSMs was made during the reign of PM
Shaukat Aziz under the umbrella of Privatization Programme but all efforts were
thwarted by the then Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who launched the
full-fledged investigations into the matter. Pakistan Steel Mills demanded a
bailout of 12 billions PKR which was dismissed by the Government of Pakistan.
PSMs operations are shunned since June 2015 to date due to running short of gas
payments and PSM has now demanded a bailout of 40 billion PKR, BBC Urdu reported
on July 29,2016. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has now kicks off the
longstanding issue of PSMs by issuing a verdict that only the executive could
find ways and means to bring the ailing Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation or PIA
out of their financial constraints by taking stock of solution and examining the
causes of their failure.
The Supreme Court could have ordered the concerned authorities to address the
issue at the earliest. The situation of PSM workers is dismayed due to financial
constraints and they are suffering a lot to make ends meet. The apathy of PSM
workers is blistering by every passing day due to the state of joblessness and
intermittent payments of their salaries. The PSM requires the financial
assistance to get operational. If the incumbent executive can finance the
Karachi Metro Project and Lahore Metro project at heavy costs of 16 and 29.8
billions respectively than why it is reluctact to finance the only Steel
producing state-owned business on the similar grounds. The incumbent chief
executive of Pakistan has an expertise in running his own Steel Mills
overwhelmingly. The operations of PSM will revive the earnings of fourteen
hundred workers of PSMs. The prudent management can smartly workout the frozen
enterprise. The Government should stop giving a cold shoulder to PSMs and should
make sincere attempts to revive the bleeding PSEs.