KARACHI: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Sheikh Aftab Ahmed, during his visit to Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM) here on Tuesday, assured maximum support on behalf of his government for the revival and expansion of PSM “as we give great importance to this project.”
He pledged that this national asset will once again stand on its feet and revive its past glory, said a PSM statement.
The Minister was given a detailed presentation about the current status of Pakistan Steel before he witnessed the operation of different plants like blast furnace at Steel Making Department (SMD), Coke Oven Batteries (COBP), Cold Rolling Mills (CRM) and Hot Strip Mills (HSM).
He was apprised about necessary repair and maintenance work which was due for long but could not be done because of liquidity crunch and other circumstances.
Despite non-payment of salaries to the employees for last couple of months, they are working hard to revive Pakistan Steel.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs said the government will be standing with the PSM management and workers and every possible effort will be made for its revival.
Pakistan Steel Mills is a great technological asset which is playing an important role.
Sheikh Aftab appreciated the sincere efforts of Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Steel Mills, Maj. General (Retd) Zaheer Ahmed Khan and his team who have worked day and night to bring this mill back into production.
He also appreciated the availability of best quality imported raw material (Iron Ore and Metallurgical Coal) in vast quantities and finished products for sale.
Pakistan Steel Mills’ CEO said PSM is a marvel and cannot be established once lost.
He said the production of PSM has been elevated from 1.4% in April 2014 to 40-45 percent of 1.1 million tons in December 2014 and January 2015 as a result of Financial Restructuring Package of Rs 18.5 billion awarded by the government and the production capacity will reach to breakeven point of 77 percent in April 2015.
For having a sustained production, he added, more funds are needed to be injected into the project.
“Also Rs 8.13 billion is requested to make production sustainable and reach the capacity of 1.1 million tons per annum,” he added.
PSM’s CEO said that Rs 4.5 billion have been requested for payment of salaries and utility bills during the extended period.
Due to late receipt of iron ore (Sept.22, 2014) the production target was also pushed ahead by 3 months; up to April 2015.