Pakistan Steel CEO allays dealers’ fears

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KARACHI: The Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Steel Mills has claimed that the Federal Investigation Agency would not harass dealers and assured safety if dealers engage in business with the mills.
Imtiaz Lodhi asserted this in a meeting with the dealers of Karachi, while he was trying his utmost to convince dealers to engage in business with the mills. The CEO said he would make sure that the FIA do not harass dealers and is ready to provide surety in writing.
However, dealers did not show much interest and said they would ponder over the offer. The meeting was probably called in wake of guidelines or business model issued to mills by its board of directors, which included the expansion of current dealership net of the mills.
Talking to Pakistan Today, one of the board members, Haji Javed said the board has provided the mills with some guidelines to help them come out of crisis. He added that the guidelines include the abolishment of non-productive expenses, alteration of current flawed sales policy, and provision of incentives to workers.
However, the primary issue concerns low production of the mills, as according to its CEO, current capacity is 56 percent, which is quite inadequate to meet demand of local industry. It is pertinent to mention that local demand stands at 5.5 million tones, while PSM’s total production capacity is 1.1 million tonnes, catering 17.5 percent of the local industry’s total demand.
Haji further informed that mills are in dire need of raw materials and it is estimated that around three to four ships of iron ore are immediately required in order to gain 75 percent of the production capacity from mills.
‘We have asked the Secretary Industries, Ghaffar Somro that the government should invest in PSM for buying raw materials as it is government’s entity, and the government should own it,’ Haji added.
He said the mills should reshape its marketing strategy and form an aggressive marketing team, as mills are already running below par and do not require expansion. He further revealed that the mill’s administration has been asked to draft a feasibility report of desulphurization plant in time, as the mills are to solely depend on local raw material in future.