Govt plans to shut down Pakistan Steel Mills, repurpose its land

Plans are underway to potentially establish a new steel mill in partnership with the Sindh government on the same site

ISLAMABAD: The federal government, led by PML-N, has made a decisive move to close down the financially struggling Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and allow the Sindh province to utilize its vast land for broader industrial purposes.

In addition to scrapping PSM, plans are underway to potentially establish a new steel mill in partnership with the Sindh government on the same site. These steps have garnered support from the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

Under the leadership of Shehbaz Sharif, the Ministry of Industries and Production has been instructed to draft a comprehensive proposal for not only shutting down PSM but also exploring the feasibility of a new steel mill on the existing premises.

Furthermore, the Sindh government is set to gain control of the PSM land, earmarking it for general industrial use, including the mutation of the remaining 1,683 acres.

The Ministry of Industries and Production has been tasked with reclaiming encroached PSM land and formulating plans for potentially transforming the entire area into an Export Promotion Zone (EPZ) or Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Additionally, the SIFC has directed the ministry to reserve land for the prospective joint venture steel mill with the Sindh government.

The PSM, which ceased operations in 2015 under the PML-N administration despite plans for record production and settlement of gas debts, has been receiving minimal gas supply to maintain its infrastructure.

Recent developments saw a notice from Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) threatening disconnection due to unpaid bills, prompting the Ministry of Industries to appeal to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).

To prevent significant infrastructure damage, crucial gas supply is required, with proposals to clear outstanding bills until June 2024 gaining support from the Petroleum and Finance Divisions pending ECC approval.

With a committee already formed to advise on PSM’s future, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has intervened decisively, opting to shut down the struggling entity and repurpose its valuable land.

Monitoring Desk
Monitoring Desk
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