Federal Minister for Industries and Production Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani on Monday rejected the reports about privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills and said the Government is evaluating offers from ten foreign companies for revitalization and expansion of this very important national asset. PPP-led Government has been struggling for turning PSM a profitable and growing organization once again.
We have received expression of interest (EoI) from ten leading companies from different countries including Russia and China.
In a chat with media at the launching of Year Book -2010 of Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) and ceremony of certificates distribution among EPZA management trainees here, Mr Bijarani said that an independent international expert was being appointed to evaluate these offers and on completion of this process the work on first phase of its expansion would start; raining its annual production capacity to 1.5 million tones.
A committee of specialists has been formed to finalize and pursue the development plan of the Mills, he said.
The senior PPP leader said his party cannot even imagine for privatization of Pakistan Steel , the great national asset gifted to the people by Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
PPP has never deprived people of their jobs but provided employment to the maximum possible extent, he remarked. He said the Government was striving to strengthen all public sector organizations.
To a question, he said that many industrial units were set up in various areas of the country during the present Governments tenure. However, he admitted that the investment rate local and foreign, was low because of law and order problem , and gas and electricity shortage.
The Federal Minister for Industries and Production said that Chinese and Korean companies were interested to invest in auto sector in the country, he informed.
To another query, he said that the country has sufficient stock of sugar and the Government kept assessing market demand to rationalize the supply.
When his attention was drawn to import of used cars, he said the Government wanted to make small cars available at affordable price. We would also try to convince auto manufacturers operating in the country to cut their prices.
Earlier Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani , addressing the EPZA management trainees, said that Export Processing Zones in the country have big scope and good future.
These would prove very instrumental to economic growth of the country, he said. He urged that EPZA should enhance its role and help in capacity building of industrialists aimed at boosting the exports.
He appreciated the EPZA training initiative and hoped that the Authority would continue with more such programs to develop managerial cadre.
The enhancing capacity of the officers would give better results, he said adding that the trainee managers would contribute a lot towards EPZA and the country. He underlined the need for more organized efforts to make EPZA to achieve its targets.
He welcomed the publication of the first-ever Year Book of EPZA and hoped that this would be a very good source of information for the industrialists/exporters, and financers and the policy makers. He observed that EPZA should have published this document/book much earlier to build its image.
The Minister distributed certificates amongst 28 management trainees. On this occasion, Mr Bijarani, also launched a Sindhi book ‘Har Pal Silab Tay’ written by Chairman EPZA Aftab Ahmed Memon.
In his welcome address, the Chairman EPZA spoke of the salient features of the management training program organized by EPZA which was based on inside and outside training. The trainees were provided know-how also about Customs and Income Tax.
He praised the Minister for extending support to and cooperation with EPZA. Director, Management Services, Ali Dino highlighted various projects for human resources development.