Sui Southern Gas Company on 10th June, reduced gas pressure which affected the production of Pakistan Steel severely and came down to 0pc CAPU, said spokesman of PSM here on Tuesday.

It is pertinent to mention here that during March and April 2015 when the production was at its peak the gas pressure was suddenly reduced bringing production from 65pc CAPU to a very low level.

It is not understood as to why this treatment is being meted now when same situation regarding payment of bills existed during last six years but never gas pressure was reduced to such level. It is strange when a closed plant has been brought from zero production in April, 2014 with government bailout package to an average of 30pc (CAPU) production in last 6 to 8 months, and reaching as high as 65pc production (CAPU) in March, 2015 when again the gas pressure reduction scuttled the momentum, the spokesman said, adding that the same happened in January, 2015 when 50pc production was achieved and gas pressure was reduced and production was affected.

He said that the gas pressure being used as a ‘tool’ to prevent Pakistan Steel achieve higher production capacity targets and is it for helping importers to flood Pakistani market with imported steel and deprive Pakistan of this asset of great technological value essential to make Pakistan strong and prosperous especially when its quality products will be required in Pak-China Economic Corridor projects.

He said despite hectic meetings independently and in the presence of Zubair Ahmed, Chairman Privatisation Commission; Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources; Miftah Ismail, Minister of State and Chairman BoI/SSGC, by Major General (R), Zaheer Ahmed Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan Steel and an agreement was reached to pay current gas bill from next month and restoration of gas pressure immediately on 6th July, 2015, the same has not been done to date.

He said this attitude has put Pakistan Steel’s Blast Furnaces, Brick/Lime Kilns and Power Plant Boilers at huge risk of damage which will cause irreparable loss and put the plant out of operation for years.

Pakistan Steel management has urged the government, especially Minister of Finance, Ishaq Dar to intervene and help in resolving the issue.

Considering a private company K-Electric with Rs 55 billion outstanding is never deprived of gas by SSGC. Why this treatment to a government entity/asset perhaps because it has no ‘ownership’ at higher level, the spokesman asked.