Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s commitment to help the Pakistan Steel Mills get back on its feet through a bailout package of Rupees two billion as well as running it as a lucrative state controlled entity is not exactly the right kind of prescription for the ailing mega-corporation. It remains to be seen how judiciously the money is spent and more importantly whether it would rid the mills of the plague of corruption and mismanagement rooted in the government’s misplaced priorities. PSM survived the Musharraf regime when attempts to privatise it were resisted but the arrival of the PPP setup and a systematic plunder of virtually every state corporation set in a train of events has almost seen PSM dragged to its grave.
As of now the mill is in a complete shambles, what to talk of fulfilling the domestic need or exporting the steel to generate foreign exchange. What is worse is that NAB’s investigations into the multi-billion scam initiated at the behest of the Supreme Court have not progressed much owing to Interior Ministry’s intransigence. Whatever the future holds for the mill, it is quite outrageous that the truth should be hushed up to shield a bunch of culprits whose pilferage of one of the largest industrial units have stunted growth of national economy.