KARACHI - The chairman of Pakistan Steel Mills, who is in Islamabad these days, has demanded Rs10 billion grant for the expansion of the PSM. The National Bank of Pakistan is expected to finance the project, The Nation learnt from sources. It is to be noted here that the decision of expansion of PSM is under consideration since a long time. The management has now started negotiations for it again and it is anticipated that this time it would be finalised. Earlier, China and Russia have shown their interest in the PSM expansion project in past. The current capacity of PSM is 1.1 million tones per annum. Interestingly, this has not been achieved. The expansion project would be completed in two phases. During the first phase, the PSM capacity would be enhanced to 1.3 million tones, while in the second phase, the PSM is eyeing 3 million tones per annum target. Maintenance of the plants at PSM is needed; the finance from the government will be utilised in these repairing purposes as well, said the source. On the other hand, the controversy raised in PSM, as unjust appointments of 165 employees have been made. It is noteworthy that these appointments have been made by the interim chairman without the consent of the board of directors. Whereas, the daily wagers of PSM are waiting notification for their permanent employment. The source added that 4,500 contracted and daily waged employees have protested against it and demanded the management and the government to fulfil the promise made few weeks back for their regularisation in PSM. However, the management of PSM has refused to take any such step and assured them that the issue of notifying the daily wagers will be solved soon. Few people in the management have asked to fix the slot of 27 years of age for permanent employees. It was flayed by the daily wagers, so, this decision has been taken back by the PSM, he added. The management has also announced that the minimum wages for the daily workers in the mill would be Rs 6,000 from now on. This decision is quite late as the PM had already announced that minimum pay would be Rs6,000, said the source. The source said that the notification for the promotion of junior officers is still awaited by the employees, adding that the management and the government should take this matter seriously and resolve the plight of 5,000 PSM employees.