Lahore: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the Pakistan Steel Mills to get NAB cases withdrawn against traders and consumers dealers of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).
The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz was talking to the Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Steel Mills Maj. General ® Zaheer Ahmed Khan here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Wednesday. LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir, former President Ijaz Butt and Executive Committee Members were also present on the occasion.
LCCI President said that there is no justification of cases against traders and consumer dealers of PSM as they have no control over the prices of products of Pakistan Steel Mills.
He said that Pakistan Steel Mills is the largest industrial complex of our country which led to Pakistan’s entry into the elite club of iron and steel producing nations during early 80’s. He said that since January 1985 when all its facilities started functioning, it has been playing a major role in industrial development of Pakistan.
LCCI President said that due to Pakistan Steel, we were able to get some recognition at international level that Pakistan could also bid for mega projects worth millions of dollars. But unfortunately due to inconsistent planning and lack of vision, it lost its momentum and is still reeling to get back on track.
He said that Pakistan Steel Mills really cuts a sorry figure when it comes to production capacity utilization which is still far below than the desired level. Its annual production capacity is 1.1 million tons of steel and whenever any major drop in output appears due to under-production, it further aggravates the imbalance between total demand and supply of iron and steel in Pakistan.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that it is estimated that Pakistan’s total demand for iron and steel is over 8 million tons a year which has to be fulfilled through imports. For that matter, he said, the industrialists in particular have to bear extra cost and wait long for the shipments to reach their mills.
He said that these factors badly affect the competitive edge of Pakistani industry and it could not fancy much chances of getting sufficient export orders. The upcountry businessmen have to face relatively more issues because of some factors including deficiency in purchasing required quantity and quality of steel, extra transportation time & cost, inconsistent supplies of energy for further processing etc, LCCI president added.
LCCI President said that solution lies in de-politicization of Pakistan Steel, 100% production capacity utilization, making it a self-reliant unit and last but not least running every single facility of Pakistan Steel under the supervision of professional management.
He said that it was a good omen that government is also taking keen interest in addressing the key issues faced by Pakistan Steel. It was claimed that by December 2014, the Pakistan Steel would escalate the per annum production capacity to 77%.
He urged the PSM CEO to draft an action plan to get Pakistan Steel out of the present crisis while business community was ready to extend full cooperation to this regard.
Earlier, CEO PSM Maj. General ® Zaheer Ahmed Khan said that Pakistan Steel Mills is the path of revival as its productivity has gone up to 40% from as low as 5% only a year back.
He said that production would reach to its maximum level in the coming month as production was increasing 10% monthly. He promised to resolve the issue of NAB cases against traders and dealers. He said that he would try to resolve this issue at the earliest.
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