LAHORE – Federal Minister for Industries and Production Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo has said the prices of the Pakistan Steel Mills’ products would be linked with the international markets and the PSM would have to seek permission from the Ministry of Industries and Production for any change in its products’ rate. The federal minister was addressing the first Iron and Steel Conference organized by Publicity Channel, under the theme of Problems and Prospects Iron & Steel industry in Pakistan’, supported by All Pakistan Steel Re-rolling Mills Association (APSRMA) at a hotel in Lahore. The Association Chairman Latif Chaudhry, Al-Tuwairqi Project Director Zaigham Adil Rizvi, National Consultant on Mines and Minerals Dr Sajjad Hussain also addressed the opening session.
In the technical session, Pakistan Steel Mills HR Director Qaisar Saleem, People’s Steel Mill MD Dr Muneer Ahmed and Dr Shahzad Alam from PCSIR laboratories highlighted various aspects and potential of the steel industry in Pakistan. The minister said the new Industrial Policy would be announced within the next three months and consultations in this regard were under way with all the stake-holders, including the industrialists. The minister said that tenders would be published in the press for the expansion of PSM and companies would be selected for the purpose solely on merit basis. He said the government has a plan to evolve a mechanism to ensure transparency in all dealings of the steel mill. The minister assured that there would be open bidding of all the products of the PSM to avoid favoritism and corruption. According to him, Pakistan Steel Mills annual production capacity would be increased from the current 1.1 million tons to 5 million tons while the overall annual steel production in Pakistan would be increased from 4 million tons to 8 million tons. He said Pakistan is hit hard by terrorism and Taliban were ruining its image abroad, however the Pakistani industrialists were playing vital role in presenting its soft and bright image to the world by providing it the best industrial productions.
He said that he recently visited an industrial fair in Germany and he was happy to see that around 50 Pakistani manufacturers set up stalls there and many foreign companies have shown keen interest to trade Pakistan’s industrial productions. While talking to media, he said the present elected and democratic government was striving hard to resolve all industry-related problems like power and gas shortage and high mark-up rates. He said. He said that Prime Minister had recently opened two windmill power plants and hoped that there would be no power load shedding by December. He asked the office-bearers of APSRMA to propose their representative for the PSM Board of Directors, and added that he would get the matter approved by the Prime Minister. Wattoo said that he would arrange steel industrialists’ meeting with Railways Minister to get resolved the problems of steel transportation, while the I&P Ministry’s institutions- SMEDA, TUSDEC and PITAC, would extend cooperation for skill development of the steel industry’s workforce.