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PSM: problem and its solution


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I AM flabbergasted after reading the revelation in the report ‘Raja resolves to make Steel Mill profitable’ (Sept 8). If the PSM cannot cater for its raw material requirement to achieve the optimum utilisation of its present capacity of 1.1 million tons per year, how then will it meet the requirement when the production is increased to three million tons a year is a very hard nut to swallow and digest.

It surprises me that I as a lay man can understand the issue and how it can be resolved, but experts and financial wizards at the helm of affairs fail to appreciate the crux of the problem and to address it accordingly.

Instead of all that money going down the drain by investment in expansion, the government/PSM should consider subsidies and investments for the enhancement of the supply of iron ore from within the country and promote iron ore beneficiation plants in the private sector so that the high grade high suphur iron ore is transformed into good quality iron ore concentrate for supply to the PSM.

This will be most beneficial to the PSM, help your own population in the backward areas to benefit and can make cheaper raw material available for the PSM. All the benefits remaining in-house instead of benefiting foreign countries and losing valuable foreign exchange.

Since all public sector organisations face the same ordeal, the overstaffing could also be a major issue draining the PSM’s profits.

Under the sword of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (Pepra), decisions are delayed or never taken. Production cannot wait for the completion of Pepra formalities and, therefore, it is my humble suggestion that the board of the PSM should be empowered to take appropriate decisions.


Comments (4) Closed

Noman Sep 15, 2012 07:26pm
Salam, the PSM management is striving to increase local iron ore production. Currently they are working on desuplurization plant and magnetic separator to increase the quality of the local iron ore. The current CEO has involved saindak and local iron ore miners and dealers and meets with them monthly to increase supply. Please research the facts before pointing fingers. It is the current CEO that has taken the initiative for the exploration and mining of local iron ore and the management of PSM should be congratulated for taking these steps to increase mining of local iron ore and create jobs locally.
roadkashehzada Sep 16, 2012 02:24am
the whole idea of steel mill in karachi is flawed. pakistan has iron ore in kalabagh and chiniot but steel mill was extablished in karachi to make sure that iron ore is more than 1000km away. now that its established, other option is stron rail network to bring domestic iron ore to PSM, but u know our railway.
Abdul Malik Sep 16, 2012 05:09pm
Noman, are you from PSM? With all due respect, PSM is a dead horse. How many retired and/or serving generals have become CEO of PSM in the past. What happened? PSM has always been dependent on imported iron ore. Why on earth PSM never thought of establishing a benefication plant right at the mill premises? Low grade local iron ore was always available to us. Let us be fair and have the guts to accept the bitter truth about PSM. Past heads and personnel of PSM have played havoc with this mill to an extent that unless you privatize, PSM is at the point of no return. You don't need military personnel to run business entities. PSM is and should be a commercial enterprise.
Abdul Malik Sep 16, 2012 02:49am
Abid Mustikhan is absolutely right ! encourage and offer incentives to private sector for setting up iron ore benefaction plant. Baluchistan has sufficient low grade iron ore of Fe 50% and below that can easily be processed to >Fe 62%. No need to be dependent on imported iron ore. Having said that, who will invest, given the current security conditions in Baluchistan from where the iron ore will be mined.