LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has warned of massive lay-offs and industrial closures if unscheduled load shedding is not stopped immediately in Lahore Township Industrial area by the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) is worsening the situation.
The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz was talking to a delegation of Lahore Township Industrial Association (LTIA) here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir and Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi were also present on the occasion.
After listening to their point of view, Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that LESCO authorities would not be able to control the situation triggered by the demonstrations and strikes called by the angry industrial workers against their retrenchments as a result of these power outages.
“How the government would establish its writ and from where it would collect revenues to run its day-to-day affairs when the industrial wheel would come to a halt.”
The LCCI President said that the government should understand that unemployment, price-hikes, industrial closures always give birth to lawlessness and anarchy. Therefore, the LESCO authorities should understand the ground realities and reset their priorities regarding provision of electricity to the industry.
The LCCI President said that the industry needs a continuous supply of electricity to keep the units operational and to complete the export orders well within the given timeframe but only because of the shortage of electricity the exports are not up to the mark.
He said that Pakistan had already lost a number of international markets and the new longer hour power cuts would further aggravate the situation.
He said that cheaper and uninterrupted power supply is only way to achieve economic targets set for the year 2015 but neither the LESCO is sharing its future plans to this regard nor paying any heed to the difficulties being faced by the trade and industry.
He said that it is astonishing that on the one hand the government circles were talking of economic stability in 2015 while on the other hand they were not sharing any kind of roadmap to achieve this goal.
He also feared a surge in street crimes, saying that law and order situation is bound to aggravate in the coming days as repeated power outages in the industrial estates is jacking up the graph of unemployment particularly hitting the daily wagers hard.
He said that the most of industrial units had already reduced their working to single six-hour shift from the previous three shifts system. This had led to increased level of raw-material wastage leaving production process non-profitable.
Now the leading industrial units were experiencing losses despite being managed professionally.
The LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir and Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi said that a similar situation had erupted in the past but that was resolved with the help of the business community who lent a lot of input in developing a viable load management plan.
Mian Nauman Kabir and Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi urged the Prime Minister to take notice of this grave situation and act promptly act to save industrial and social fabric of the country.
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