Govt urged to facilitate steel industry to enhance exports

Steel industry the mother of all industries needs to be fully strengthened for sustainable economic growth, a pre-requisite for rapid development, progress and prosperity in the country.

Talking to a delegation of developer led by Ahmad Waqar, Co-ordinatior to Federal Tax Ombudsman Meher Kashif Younis here on Sunday said that the iron and steel industry is the bottom line producer industry and it is the mother of all industries as it helps other secondary industries besides contributing towards national development. He said worldwide that it is one of the vital aspects of stable growth and economic development. He said our industrial policy needs to prioritize steel production over sugar, cola and cigarettes production.

He said there is definitely a dire need for promoting steel sector as our usage of steel is higher than its production and the gap is met by imports. He said even if the reverse were the case, we would have exported steel given the high world demand. He said yet we are spending our precious foreign exchange because the steel mill is closed and ship-breaking at Gadhani cannot cater the needs and is less than capacity.

Meher Kashif said steel is also recyclable and therefore, unlikely to run out like fossil fuels. About 88pc of steel is recycled throughout the world. He said unlike other recycled materials, steel never loses its strength during the process of recycling that’s reason that ship-breaking which is part of the steel sector, is so important. About 15pc of the domestic production of steel comes from ship-breaking scrap.

He said our per capita use of steel is only 35 kilogram as compared to the world average of 233 kilograms last year which is one of the key point to ponder by the policy makers to tailor such a master plan to strengthen the industrial base rather than only focusing on textile and clothing sectors etc .He said what we need is equal share and focus to all industries especially steel industry. He said if our industrial policy has these two elements, iron and steel production will increase, yielding more benefits to the country.

He said in our industry,t he share of iron and steel is only 1.6pc while in LSM sector is 3.4pc and such a small share is unlikely to take Pakistan towards rapid industrialization and development. He said countries that have expanded their iron and steel sector have developed rapidly because of the input of iron and steel in numerous products in every sector he concluded.

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