OUR STAFF REPORTER KARACHI - The shortage of raw material badly affected production of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) during last few months that may shut down mills. The sources privy to PSM told that workers are working only 15 to 20 minutes in a shift because PSM has not enough raw materials to continue the production. The financial crisis of PSM and increasing liabilities affected production and mill seeks government financial support badly. Conversely, the cash-starved Pakistan Steel Mills has failed to pay wages to its employees on monthly basis and the employees got the salary of August in September. The employees have expressed their deep concern over the financial crisis and asked the government to eradicate corruption to resolve the matter. When contacted PSM official said that mill accumulated loss is about Rs 40 billion and total liabilities as on September 15, 2011 are Rs 55.497 billion. Drop in capacity utilisation is due to very high prices of coal in the international market in April-June, 2011 and July-September, 2011. However, one shipment of 55,000 MTN Coal and one shipment of 55,000 MT Iranian Fine Ore are scheduled to arrive Port Qasim in 4th week of September, 2011. And there is no chance of closure of the largest public sector industry. Average monthly sale volume of PSM products during the period 2007-08 was Rs.3.39 billion, he added. At present stage, the coke oven battery is being operated on 40 hours cycle and it will periodically come down to 22-26 hours after arrival of coal ship before the end of this month, he said adding that hot rolling mill was stopped for planned preventive maintenance (PPM) and is now operational after PPM. As PSM is operating only with one coke oven battery due to high prices of coal, consequently the power generation has also gone down. It may be noted that power generation has risen to 40 MW.