Pak Steels Saga

(Noshin Bashir, Karachi)

Pakistan Steel Mills

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.

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31 Jul, 2016 Views: 467


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