October 15, 2021: Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar on Friday said that a comprehensive steel policy would be rolled out soon with the active consultation of stakeholders of steel sector for which a two-member team had been nominated from PALSP side.
Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar expressed such views while chairing the session of consultative meeting on country’s steel policy with the leading steel industry players at the office of Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). He was accompanied by the CEO PIDC Mr. Rizwan Bhatti.
Assuring the meeting, he said that once policy was finalized, it would help the government to resolve all issues being faced by the stakeholders of the steel industry.
He asked them to extend all kinds of support in drafting the comprehensive policy as the suggestions of all stakeholders could be incorporated.
The Minister further informed the Steel industrialists that the Federal government was planning to develop approximately 7,500 acres of land in steel mills area as cluster-based Special Economic Zones through PIDC.
He asked the steel sector participants to explore jointly putting up Captive Power Plant in that project to meet their power needs at possibly a lower cost.
The first phase of the upcoming project on 1,500 acres, for which government has allocated Rs 7 billion PSDP funding, will allow the government land to be allotted on a low upfront cost for the industries with remaining payments to be made in 5-7 years easy installments on a pay-as-you-earn model, Khusro Bakhtyar told.
The meeting was told that with the current economic growth trajectory, Pakistan would need 30 million tons of long and flat steel products in the next 5 years. Besides, various aspects of tariff structure, land cost, and energy requirements of the sector came under discussion in the meeting.
Representing Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers (PALSP), Abbas Akbar Ali emphasized the need for at least a 10-year policy so that the sector could make investments with a peace of mind.
Speaking on the occasion, the Federal Minister said that their government took notice of the slow pace of colonization of Special Economic Zones in the country and discovered that most of the developers were unable to cater to the energy needs of the industry, which was stifling the growth of industrialization in their zones for decades.
The PTI government, for the first time, intervened to provide PSDP funding for the energy supply projects of the SEZs and has allocated Rs.22 billion for the SEZ energy projects since 2019, he informed.
CEO PIDC Rizwan Bhatti added that since the release of Government funding for the Grid, NIP had received numerous allotment applications.
He shared that in the last week alone, the SEZ committee has made allotments to 14 applicants for 70 acres land with PKR 13 billion expected investment and 3,700 new job opportunities.
He also added that in line with Federal Govt. SME Policy, in order to accommodate smaller enterprises, 100 Acres land at BQIP is allocated for plots having size of 1 Kanal and upwards.
Later, Khusro Bakhtyar was joined by Governor of Sindh Imran Ismail at PIDC in a virtual ground breaking ceremony of a Federal Government funded 132KV Grid at a cost of Rs.1.5 billion for Bin Qasim Industrial Park (BQIP) – a Special Economic Zone developed by National Parks Development and Management Company (NIP) which is a subsidiary company of PIDC.