Power crisis: PS suffers Rs140m losses in 48 hours

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KARACHI : The Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) has suffered production losses of Rs140million in 48 hours after disconnection of power to its plants by the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) on Wednesday due to non payment of bills.


The KESC only restored power supply to Steel Town and Gulshan-e-Hadeed after getting payment of Rs250m from PSM out of total outstanding Rs550m. However, demanding full payment, the power utility did not restore power supply to the production plant till the filing of this report.


Steel Mills had to pay the power bills of Rs250m for March and Rs300m for April to the KESC.


PSM’s spokesman Shazim Akhtar said: “When the power supply was disconnected, the mill was operating at 16 per cent production capacity.”


“The mill has been facing acute shortage of raw materials (iron ore and coal) and its expected production capacity declined to 11 per cent during August. KESC must be well aware of PSM’s financial hardships and lack of resources to generate revenues. However the power utility is not ready to restore electricity despite getting Rs250m. PSM is facing Rs70 million production losses every 24 hours,” he went on to add.


He further informed that due to the financial crunch, Steel Mills paid half salary of May to its 17,000 employees while full June and July salaries are still due. The monthly salary expense of PSM is Rs500m.


On Friday, Chairman, Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) Saadat S Cheema was given the additional charge of Chief Executive Officer after Major General (retd) Mohammad Jawed resigned from the position on Thursday.


Meanwhile, President Pakistan Steel Labour Union (PASLU) Haji Khan Lashari and General Secretary Zafar Khan said that the employees were highly frustrated over the future of PSM.


“The employees are finding it difficult to manage daily expenses especially in Ramazan. Employees are also worried as how they would manage their Eid expenses for kids shopping in case salaries are not released,” PASLU representatives said.


They further informed that CBA chairman Shamshad Qureishi was out of country when employees are facing crisis due to non payment of salaries and KESC’s power cut.


Khan was of the view that a conspiracy was being hatched for the privatisation of Steel Mills.


Lashari, meanwhile said that he met with Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi on Thursday. “The minister did not give any satisfactory answer about the future of Pakistan Steel Mills,” he added.

Courtesy:   Dawn

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