LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed concern over the deteriorating state of affairs at the Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation (PSMC), and urged the government to work out a plan for its revival.
“The country cannot afford to lose this important Public Sector Enterprise (PSE), which is not only an organisation but also an important strategic asset,” said a statement issued.
LCCI President Abdul Basit, Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa and Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan said that at one time PSMC was highly profitable and considered one of the largest steel producers in the country but now, it is on the verge of collapse due to ignorance.
They said that the policymakers should know that the enterprise is not only a major source of steel products for various domestic industries but also vital for the defence industry.
The LCCI office-bearers said that due to almost zero production at PSMC, domestic industry is relying on imported hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanised steel and huge foreign exchange is being spent for this purpose.
They were of the view that the crisis could be handled through good policy approach but some elements were tarnishing the soft image of the present regime by destroying this important PSE.
Considering the Rs600 billion losses being made annually by the PSEs, the government should take measures on war footing to make these organisations profitable, said the officials.
Citing examples of developed economies, they said that there the role of PSEs is minimal and the private sector is the most important instrument of socio-economic prosperity, and there is continued growth of privately-run corporations.
LCCI suggested formation of a committee of experts from the private sector to revisit strategy and adopt methods which provide new impetus to the PSEs.
“The committee should go deep into the broader political philosophy and vision under which the PSEs will be required to play their role in the new competitive environment.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2017.