LAHORE - As the people are facing the worst ever power outages and cursing the PPP-led democratic set-up for its failure to improve the supply despite the lapse of two years, Chambers of commerce and industry from across Punjab have threatened to launch massive protests if the govt failed to end the loadshedding. As many as ten such organisations have warned if the government of extreme protests if the govt failed within a week to ensure countrywide equitable load shedding; restore industrial gas connections; and give representation to the chambers in power planning, they would take extreme steps. The chambers of Commerce and Industry of the province met under the chairmanship of President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry here on Monday to discuss the ongoing power and energy crisis that has crippled the business activities. A resolution passed after the meeting deplored the indifference of the government towards the power and energy crisis. They asked the government to prepare a creditable schedule for load management applicable to all parts of the country. They said loadshedding of 14-18 hours in Punjab and of around 4-6 hours in other parts of the country is unjust, particularly when the line losses are the lowest in Punjab. They hoped that the government would resort to fair practices in this regard within a week. They warned of protests and agitations if their demands were not met. When asked to explain the nature of protests, the LCCI President Zafar Iqbal said the protest would include resorting to strikes and processions as well as Long March. He said final decision in this regard would be taken by a committee formed by the chambers after the expiry of one week deadline. President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Adul Qayyum said: Industries are on the verge of collapse. He said production in Faisalabad has declined by 50 per cent in recent weeks. He wondered as to why electricity rates are higher when the global oil prices are at $80 a barrel. The oil was cheaper when the crude oil rates were $147 a barrel. The President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kashif Shabbir maintained that the power crisis is due to gross mismanagement of the problem. He asked the government to clear circular debt for increase in power production. He said the industry is losing Rs219 billion per year because of power shortage while losing over $1 billion of export orders. Dr Sarfraz Bashir, Vice President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry said small industries account for 99 per cent of the industrial production which is exported. He said small entrepreneurs having no other source for power and energy are losing export orders due to delays in shipment. Shiekh Azmat Saleem President Sahiwal Chamber of Commerce and Industry said both the industry and agriculture have been badly affected by power shortage. He said in Sahiwal alone potatoes worth Rs20 billion are rotting because of the inability of the growers to store them in clod storages which are closed due to inadequate power. President Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and industry Khalid Mehmood Chadda asserted that for the first time gas connections of the industries are being cut in summer when ample gas is available in the country. This speaks volumes of the incompetence of the planners, he added, asking the government to built Kalabagh Dam immediately. President Sheikhupura Chamber of Commerce Amer B. Azam, Vice President Okara Chamber M. Iqbal Shahid, President Jhelum Chamber of Commerce Malik Khawar and President Women Chamber Dr. Shehla Javed Akram have said the export-oriented industry was facing loss of billion rupees. They said the sword of bankruptcy was hanging over the heads of many industrialists and if immediate measures were not taken by the govt, the industrial base of the country would collapse.