KARACHI (APP) - Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) will witness a turn-around in the third quarter of current financial year after suffering serious shocks due to global economic recession. At present PSM is utilising around 80pc of its total 1.1 million tones production capacity. Various remedial measures are in pipeline which include exploiting indigenous sources of raw materials, i.e. iron ore and coal, and revaluation of PSM assets to strengthen its balance sheet to create liquidity space. This was briefed to Federal Minister for Industries and Production Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani by PSM management here on Friday, during his first visit to PSM after assuming new portfolio. Pakistan Steels Chairman M.M. Usmani and Managing Director Rasool Bakhsh Phulpoto led the PSM management team. The Minister was informed that the Mill suffered a loss of Rs 22 billion in 2009 and Rs 6 billion projected loss was expected in 2010 as a result of global economic recession. PSM also has a liability of more than Rs 6 billion unfunded Letters of Credit (L/Cs) as its equity had erroded. The PSM was confronted with the rising prices of imported raw materials in international market and falling sale prices. Sales tax rationalisation on steel products has added to erosion of equity. Earlier, the Mills operated at low production capacity of 46 percentage due to shortage of inventory and liquidity crunch. Only one Coke Oven Battery was functioning and thus coke was also to be imported, the PSM authorities stated. The Minister was requested to immediately arrange funds for procurement of raw materials for Pakistan Steel. The Government had earlier granted Rs 10 billion package to the Mills which was consumed in repair of vital segments of the Mills and import of raw materials. By January 2011, Steel Mills would have 50 percent indigenous raw materials in a bid to save foreign reserves and to acquire self- reliance. The PSM has acquired 3 leases in Balochistan for extracting iron ore and utilise it as raw material for the Mill and about 160000 tonnes of local iron ore from Saindak has been used in iron making during the last 17 months. The management was engaged with NWFP government for exploration of raw materials for PSM. Main source of iron ore imports for PSM were Iran, India, China. However, there were some difficulties like opening of L/Cs to import raw materials from Iran. Federal Minister for Industries and Production Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani showed concern over Pakistan Steels position. However, he was firm to run it in profit again with joint efforts of the government, PSM management and workers. Pakistan Steel is a prestigious organisation and pride of our nation. I will take sincere and priority-based efforts to resolve its problems. I am confident that we will again be able to run it in profit, Bijarani said. Despite the fact that the country is facing various international pressures/ problems, PPP-led government was trying its best for revival and strengthening of Pakistan Steel which is the gift to the nation from Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto also strived for the Mills promotion and for the employees welfare. He said he would have more meetings with PSM management to understand problems of different sections/ plants for total revamping and expansion of Pakistan Steel. After the briefing, the Minister was taken to various plants of Pakistan Steel.