ISLAMABAD

The industrialists, representing various industries including flour, marble soap, pharmaceutical and steel, on Tuesday threatened to come on streets against massive loadshedding if government did not reduce it to six hours a day form 16 hours.

The local industrialists held an emergency meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) against the 16 hours daily massive loadshedding and called upon the government to urgently restore the pre-Ramadan schedule of 6 hours loadshedding for industry otherwise they will have no other option except for coming on streets.

They said there is no loadshedding for industry in Karachi while in Hattar Industrial Estate, only 4 hours loadshedding is done during peak hours, but in Islamabad where bills recovery is almost 100 percent, industry is facing 16 hours loadshedding, which has crippled the production activities and paralyzed the local industry. Addressing the delegation, Muhammad Ali Mirza, acting president ICCI, expressed deep concerns over the massive loadshedding for industrial sector and termed it an economic murder of the local industry. He called upon the government to look into this serious problem and issue directions to IESCO to restore 6 hours daily loadshedding schedule for industry to save the industrial units from closure and thousands of workers from unemployment.

He said the PML-N leadership during its pre-election campaigns had assured to resolve loadshedding issue on top priority after coming into power and regretted that more than one year has passed, but the power shortage has become more complicated and it is becoming impossible to run industrial activities in such environment.

He said when after long Eid holidays industrial units have reopened, IESCO has increased the duration of loadshedding up to 16 hours due to which industry is almost on the verge of collapse.

Munawar Mughal, Vice President FPCCI, said that at the one hand, govt promises to encourage investment and industrialization in the country, but at the other hand, no concrete measures have been taken, especially to ensure uninterrupted power supply to industry, which is essential to facilitate the growth of industrial activities.   The industrialists said that the prevailing 16 hours power loadshedding is negatively impacting their production activities and without electricity, they are unable to run factories.  The result is that industrial workers remain idle and they were afraid that if the pre-Ramadan schedule of load shedding was not restored, more industrial units would close down and thousands of workers would lose their jobs.

They also threatened to launch strong protests if the situation was not improved immediately. They said that government should take all possible steps for consistent supply of electricity to industries as without uninterrupted power supply to industry, the country would never be able to achieve the goal of sustainable economic growth.