Boon or bane?

Mar 28 - Apr 03, 2005



Doctors turned Bureaucrat at Islamabad are prescribing Privatization pills to ailing public sector organizations causing huge losses to the national exchequer.

Its very odd when the nation was looking forward to see an expanded steel mill, the news making rounds is the doctor at planning commission has given prescription for its privatization.

If we make SWOT analysis i.e strength, weakness, opportunity and threat, we find weakness and threat as the outcome of the game plan. Instead of total sell out it would have been far more better to have some foreign steel firms joining hands.

The only party to blame for this fiasco is steel mill itself. While the things were going good they should not have waited so long for its expansion. Imagine its efficiency when it takes almost one year to appoint consultant for its expansion programme which could have been done in a week. In fact there was no need for a consultant but just to play safe it took that route.

In successful steel plants, one needs to have capable human resources, R&D but thanks to late Colonel who was running the show as Chairman-cum-Romeo sent dedicated work force to retirement, leaving left overs running the mill, this could have prompted for sell out.

One of the curse hanging over the mill is the way the management of Pakistan Steel (PS) have been destroying their officers careers by very unjust promotion system. At PS the only criteria for promotion is to score seventy percent marks in so-called annual confidential reports (which are kept guarded secret) no matter how.

The leadership at Pak Steel which ruled for more than 25 years comprising of Bureaucrats and top brass did nothing to evolve a just system. What a shame.

The plant with active cooperation of Iranian and Turkish steel plants can do wonders. It has got one of the best rolling mills and Blast furnaces which the new master will turn into Bhatti plazas.

China is expanding its steel industry at an exponential rate going to about 550 million tonnes from its present level of 365 million tonnes per annum. So is India but for us it's a figure of one million tonne since past two decades.

The only courage the management of PS took was to submit a proposal to move from 1.1 to 1.5 million tonnes (a drop in the ocean) .



News about Saudi group setting steel plant of one million tonne near Port Qasim was so prominently displayed but it turned out to be hoax. The Saudi group is now setting that plant in Abu Dhabi. The reason was the authorities concerned did not facilitated Saudis in providing land and utilities. Even Pakistan companies who were planning to set up small plants of half a million capacity have disappeared. The status of our dear country would be steel starved nation.


While there is news that more than thousand organizations in the country have got ISO 9000 certifications not much of improvement is being observed in total quality management. The reason being that government organizations which were supposed to provide accreditation to certification bodies are not doing their job properly. For purpose of customer satisfaction, ISO certification is passport of quality but somehow the certification agencies in the country have lowered their standard so much that almost any organization can get ISO certification by paying nearly Rs50,000. In India, collaboration with British standard institution is providing strong arm. We need to think in these lines without waiting but somehow Ministry of Science & Technology is not responding. (Wake up Most). The external auditors who perform audit have no management background resulting in weak audit and the organizations can get away without having system in place bad for export.


With the rise of automotive sector, SCM is going to play a major role in providing right quality at right price and time. The major drivers in this arena are production what, how and when to produce, inventory how much to make and how much to store, location where best to do what activity, transportation how and when to move product and information the basis for making these decisions. Business schools needs to run special courses in this regard with special emphasis on demand forecasting and distortion swings (Bull whip effect) which the automotive sector is plagued with. Supply Chain Management with new product development is the war in business battlefields.


College which stared on such a good note is any thing except Engineering College. Deprived of its affiliation with NED University and Pakistan Engineering Council the students are being deprived of future job placement. While we have a strong Education Minister but still his effort are wanting. While Metallurgical Engineers are so much in demand, there is dearth of quality engineering graduates in Sindh specially in this field. Its time for NED to consider running such a programme.