Apropos the report steels mills revamp plan may lead to disaster, warns sc july 17. the supreme court is to be complemented for highlighting the issue of revival of the pakistan steel mill. it is unfortunate the mill has been lying closed since 2015.
It should be understood that an integrated steel mills are never shut down as the blast furnace operation is continuously producing pig iron. nowhere in the world is the running of this production unit stopped. however, the other units like steel production and the rolling mills operate in batches.
The pakistan tehreek-i-insaf government had made a pledge in their election manifesto to put the mill in operation.
It is unfortunate the government has decided not to honour its pledge. the government should hire pakistani steel experts or foreign experts and implement the plan to restart psm.
The mill was operating profitably before the ppp government assumed power in 2008. the government re-employed 5,000 dismissed mill workers with all past benefits. this led to severe financial constraints which continued till its closure in 2015 and the cost is still being borne by the gop.
The nawaz sharif government advertised the mills ceo position in 2013. i am among the founder engineers of psm, and was also short-listed for an interview by the then finance minister ishaq dar. however, someone else was selected for the position.
In the last few years the steel mills has floundered. in my opinion there is a strong lobby bent upon ensuring that psm is shut so that the import of steel products can continue unhindered. to recount opposition to the mills was fierce even before its foundation. this was evident even in the 60s when ayub khan decided to establish the first integrated steel mill in the country.
Contrary to us, india commissioned its first integrated steel mill with soviet assistance in 1958 followed by other steel mills. this laid the foundation for light and heavy engineering industries. this is why indias economy is ahead today.
The pti governments priority should be to ignore the vested interests pressure and proceed to put the mill back in operation. it should seek russias assistance to revamp the mill and this can be done within two years.
Furthermore, there are several experienced psm ex-engineers and technical staff available to assist in its rebuilding and commissioning.
High and New Industrial Zone, Kexue Revenue, Zhengzhou, China