Pakistan eyes 15m tonnes steel production by 2020

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan government is preparing a new policy to achieve an annual production target of 15 million tonnes of steel by 2020.

By (From a correspondent)

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Published: Sat 2 Aug 2008, 11:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:48 AM

The Engineering and Development Board (EDB) of the ministry of industries and production has evolved the long term 'National Steel Policy' with a view to cover the widening demand and supply gap by achieving a production target of 15 million tonnes of steel by 2020.

The policy, to be finalised by August 15, is expected to be formally approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (EEC) of the Cabinet by September this year. The other main feature of the policy are balancing modernisation and replacement (BMR), technology upgrdation and modernisation, availability of technical and skilled manpower, testing facilities and product certification.

A meeting of all the stakeholders was held on Thursday under the chairmanship of Asad Ilahi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EDB. The meeting discussed the draft of national steel policy which initially aimed at achieving 10 million tonnes steel production target by 2015 and then 15 million tonnes by 2020.

The meeting formed three separate committees to finalise their recommendations within one month on three issues which included development of steel industry, mines and raw material for steel and sorting out tariff issues.

"This will be our third policy after the development of auto and trucking policies," Ilahi told this correspondent.

Responding to a question, he said the new national steel policy was needed because of the rising prices of iron ore, coking coal, coke, and the steel products. There was a short supplies of major inputs due to monopolisation of resources as a result of mergers and acquisitions. There was a widening demand and supply gap and the country was faced with spiralling prices in domestic market.

He said that there was a need to make serious efforts to discover untapped resources. Dependence on imports would keep the steel sector exposed to price shocks, short supplies, long lead time, high sea-fright, logistic problems and high carrying costs.

Ilahi underlined the importance of the steel sector in the economy and said it serves as the backbone of any economy as it feeds the manufacturing sector, the infrastructure sector, construction and engineering sector. The government, he said, was aware of various problems being faced by the steel industry and was trying to help it by making business friendly policies.

The committee on development of steel industry would deal with the issues like availability of inputs, availability of finished products, devise a mechanism to stabilise and control the prices, product standardisation, product certification, devise a mechanism to implement and monitor the quality of product.

This committee would also frame a strategy for energy conservation steel sector, create linkages between industry and academia and ensure the availability of skilled manpower and establishment of factory schools.

Similarly, the committee on tariff will deal with sales tax, multiple taxation, import valuation, import of raw material from neighbouring countries and the facilitation of development of infrastructure and captive power generation plants.

The committee on mining, leasing and development has been entrusted with the job of completing recommendations regarding the identification of iron ore and coal deposits, suitable for manufacturing of steel under the public private partnership programme. It will also propose suggestions for the development of infrastructure and logistic facilities and identify and acquire energy efficient and cost effective technologies suitable for processing of local raw material and establishment of mini steel plants at mine heads.

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