Reportedly, Pak Steel is under heavy debt and will be sold to meet IMF requirements. Sale at a throw away price will not be in national interest. Instead it would be better to give it on lease for a period of 20 years or so, with conditions to modify it for a local iron ore, to develop local iron ore mines with transportation facility & to maintain existing manpower (or reduce it through golden handshake with consent) and residential areas. Unutilized iron ore mines may be leased to Pak Steel by the provinces concerned at a reasonable price to get mines developed and to promote local employment as well.
As regards suitability of local iron ores, suffice to mention that Dalbandin iron ore was utilized in Pak Steel and M/S Salzgitter of Germany produced 5000 tons high quality steel from 15000 tons iron ore from Kalabagh and offered in 1967 to set up a steel mill of over 8 lakh ton per year capacity in Kalabagh. Relevant details are available with Pak Steel . Iron ores available at Nokkundi, DG Khan, Chiniot, Kirana Hills Sargodha, Pezu, etc. can also be evaluated.
M. AKRAM NIAZI,
Rawalpindi, August 13.