SIALKOT - The perturbed Sialkot business community would close down all the factories in the district from Monday, Januray 9, 2012 and take to the street against power and gas outages, a traders’ representative announced here on Friday.

Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Naeem Anwar Qureshi told newsmen at his office that the Sialkot industrialists and exporters would shut down their factories on the joint appeal of SCCI and other main trade bodies including Tanners’ Association Sialkot, Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PGMEA), Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (SIMAP) and Markazi Anjuman Tajraan Sialkot. He added that they would hoist black flags on their factories and wear black arm bandages as a protest against the prolonged and forced loadshedding of electricity and gas which had crippled the industries.

He said that due to outages the factories are on the verge of collapse. The SCCI president added that the hundreds of thousands of factory workers and labourers would also come on the roads with the local traders, industrialists and exporters to lodge a strong anti-power and gas outages protest on Monday.

Earlier, Sialkot’s all the main trade bodies had given a week-long deadline to Gepco Sialkot to end this forced load shedding till January 07,2012, which expires today (Saturday). He said that on Saturday, the representatives of Sialkot’s all the main trade bodies would go to Lahore where the heads of Punjab’s all the chambers of commerce would also protest against the power outages on Saturday.

Negating the week-long deadline given by the SCCI regarding protest on roads against the unbearable power outages in Sialkot, the Gepco Sialkot officials stepped up the duration of the unscheduled loadshedding to 20 hours.

SCCI has asked the Gepco officials to reduce the power outages, asking the Gepco to announce a schedule. Otherwise, the Sialkot exporters and traders would come on the roads to protest, he said.