Russian President Vladimir Putin is to visit Pakistan in September 2012 during which a number of pacts are expected to be signed between the two countries including expansion of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) up to three million tons per year, official sources told Business Recorder. The sources said, President Asif Ali Zardari visited the Russian Federation from May 11-13, 2011 and held bilateral discussions on matters of mutual interest. During these talks enhanced co-operation between the two countries for BMRE (Balancing, Modernisation, Revamping and Expansion) and capacity expansion of PSM was agreed.
Ministry of Production, Government of Pakistan engaged its counterpart Ministry of Economic Development of Russian Federation to finalise modalities with regard to the BMRE and capacity expansion of PSM with the approval of the Cabinet. The sources said, after exchange of voluminous correspondence, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been agreed between PSM and Government of Russian Federation. The Board of Directors (BoD) of PSM discussed in detail the enclosed MoU in its meeting held on May 25, 2012 and approved it. The MoU was also circulated among the stakeholders.
Ministry of Law & Justice, Economic Affairs Division, Board of Investment, and Ministry of Commerce have approved/vetted the MoU whereas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission have raised certain observations specially on inclusion of Article-4 in the MoU which relates to the settlement of outstanding debt of Pakistan to Russia. According to sources, recently Pakistan””s Ambassador in Russia, through fax message dated 14-06-2012 conveyed that as per Article-2 of the MoU, a proposed amendment is that RUSTECHNOLOGY is the authorised organisation from the Russian side, while Tyazhpromexport is an auxiliary of it. Pakistan””s Ambassador to Russia also contended that we should not have any problem with Article-4 as contained in the MoU as it is a matter of intention and not compulsion to settle the debt issue. MoP has endorsed the view point of Pakistan””s Ambassador in Russia on the debt issue.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012