LAHORE  - The Pakistan Steel Melters’ Association has expressed satisfaction over the imposition of 15 per cent regulatory duty on the import of various steel products in order to protect the interest of local steel manufacturers. This was said in a resolution passed during a meeting of Steel Melters Association under the chair of its Chairman, Javaid Iqbal here on Monday.

The meeting discussed in detail the problems being faced by steel industry and showed their satisfaction over recently issued SRO 18 (I)/2015 by FBR which imposed regulatory duty of up to 15 percent on import of various steel products amid criticism from the steel industry.

The meeting also discussed the long-awaited issue of Tuwairqi Steel Mills Limited (TSML) which has already invested around $450 million as Foreign Direct Investment in the country in steel sector and virtually became pioneering industry, as it has for the first time introduced the world renowned Japanese technology of Direct Reduction of Iron (DRI) in Pakistan.

It is to be noted that the melters’ opinion is based on their own experience of using DRI procured from TSML, It was noted with concern that the company despite achieving 100pc capacity test run is in its shut down mode since Sept 2013. The meeting expressed concern over the closure of a state-of-the-art steel production facility, which is among the best in the region and added it would be a big loss to the country in general and steel sector in particular.

The meeting resolved that natural gas tariff issue of TSML needs to be addressed the earliest possible by government, according to the recommendations of relevant ministries.