The Pakistan Ship Breakers Association (PSBA) said on 18 January that the shipbreaking industry is on the verge of closure as local banks are reluctant to open letters of credit to import vessels for breaking up (recycling) and as a result, producing raw material for the steel industry.
This is expected to lead to an acute shortage of construction steel bars in the country. Therefore, there could be a drastic escalation in construction steel prices and it is anticipated that consumption of cement and other building materials will also plummet. Work is expected to stop on low-rise buildings, low-cost housing, flood rehabilitation activities.
The PSBA has requested the government to amend the EPD Circular Letter No 20/2022 and include the “Vessels for Breaking Up – HS Code 8908.0000” to save not only the ship breaking Industry from closure but also save hundreds of re-rolling mills, small steel furnaces and thousands of steel cottage Industries from closure and resultant unemployment of 0.5m people across the country.