Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is likely to visit Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) in the next couple of weeks to formally announce bailout package for revival of mill and relief for employees. Sources said Prime Minister has assured Major General Muhammad Javed (Retd) Chief Executive Office (CEO) PSM and Shamshad Qureshi Chairman CBA that he will visit the country’s largest steel producing plant, which is now days facing some financial problems.
CEO PSM and Chairman CBA invited Prime Minister to visit PSM and also announce package. A PSM delegation held meeting with Prime Minister at Islamabad last week. “Prime Minister is likely to visit before or just after August 14 to formally announce a financial package for the revival of PSM. The bailout package worth some Rs 14.6 billion has already approved by the federal government for cash strapped mill to enhance its production by acquiring raw material from domestic and external resources”, they added.
“Prime Minister has assured that he will visit during second week of August and also given a tentative date of August 10”, said Shamshad Qureshi chairman CBA. PSM’s management as well as employees need measures and support from federal government to save a national asset, which is providing jobs to over 17,000 persons, he said and added that with the support of the Prime Minister, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Production Anwar Cheema and other federal officials, PSM can become a profitable and successful organisation within next few years.
“From the last three years, there was no relief for PSM employees and officers, therefore, we negotiated with government for a relief package to employees also”, chairman CBA said. He said Major General Muhammad Javed has finalised new business plan after detail deliberations with other experts and he is confident that with implementation on this plan in its real term, Pakistan Steel will come out from losses, which currently stood at about Rs 1.5 billion per month.
In the current condition, when PSM have billions of rupees liabilities and losses, it’s an every difficult and challenging task to revive and make profitable an organization, which is making losses since four years and have no funds for raw material, sources said.
Although, presently there is tight competition in the domestic market because of cheap availability of steel products in the world market, despite that there are some opportunities for PSM to enhance production capacity and reduce operational losses, they added.
They said with the appointment of Major General Muhammad Javed (Retd) production of mill is improving gradually and now it has reached near about 22-25 percent, previously was less than 15 percent. As per first phase of Business Plan, production capacity of the PSM would be increased up to 55 percent and it will be at 80 percent end of 2013.