LAHORE - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday warned the government to immediately ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity to save the industry from a total collapse by making payments to Independent Power Producers (IPPs). "About 70 per cent industry has already closed down their operations due to acute shortage of electricity and gas while the remaining is on the verge of collapse. The government must take concrete steps to overcome energy crisis once for all," President LCCI Mian Muzaffar Ali told reporters while addressing a press conference here on Monday. LCCI Senior Vice President Tahir Javaid Malik, Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and a large number of representatives of Industrial and Traders Associations were also present on this occasion. Mian Muzaffar Ali said that the situation had turned so bad that industry has no money to pay the salaries and utility bills. There is a dire need that the steps should be taken on war footing to avert mass lay-offs, he added. The LCCI President said that everybody would have to tighten its belt to stop the economic meltdown in the year 2009. He said that it seemed that some elements in the government did not want industrial revival so the government would have to take stock of the whole situation for a solid strategy to cope with ongoing crisis. The LCCI President said that poor management and lack of political will on part of the government were also the major contributors to the ongoing crisis. He said present power and energy crisis could be reduced substantially if the government is sincere in resolving the issue. He said conflict of interests have played a major role in increasing the problem. He said government and society both are responsible for the stalemate. The LCCI President said that the government is prepared to launch high spending projects but is not prepared to pay those that produce electricity on its demand. The LCCI Senior Vice President LCCI Tahir Javed Malik while opposing any immediate strike-call said that the members should wait for the government response before calling a strike. However he added as a first step the industries should stop servicing their bank loans. He said with industries virtually out of production due to power shortage they are unable to pay even the salaries of the workers and cannot pay the bank dues as well. Vice president LCCI Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that the traders would give the government seven days to resolve the power and energy issue and then give a strike call. President LCCI said that the issue could be resolved if the authorities work sincerely, dedicatedly and with honesty. He said all hydro-electricity projects should be started and IPPs should be paid their due on time so that they could be able to generate required quantity of electricity.