ISLAMABAD- Steel industrialists threatened to sack all the labours from today (Tuesday) if electricity was not resorted to the steel furnaces urgently, stating that they were unable to pay them, as their industrial units were forced to close down due to 24 hours power shutdown. The steel industrialists, in an urgently held meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), demanded that the Government should restore electricity to the steel industries. Chairing the meeting, Zahid Maqbool, President, ICCI, said that 150 steel furnaces had already closed down due to round-the-clock power outage and warned that as many as 500,000 labourers would become jobless if electricity was not restored to the steel furnaces. He stressed upon the Government to provide electricity to steel industry for at least 12 hours a day or on alternate days to avoid closure of more industries. He slammed the Government for targeting the industries of only Islamabad and Punjab, as industries of other provinces exempted from the load management, which was highly discriminatory approach. Zahid Maqbool said many investors from Turkey, Germany and China have shown interest to invest in Pakistan but such measures of the PEPCO will send a negative signal to them. He advised Raja Pervez Ashraf, Federal Minister for Water and Power to consult ICCI and workout a win-win situation for Government and the industrialists. Karim Aziz Malik, Vice President ICCI said that last year keeping in view power constraints, industrialists had voluntarily agreed for 12 hours daily loadshedding to steel furnaces. But this time, the Government unilaterally decided to shutdown power to steel furnaces for 24 hours, which was totally unacceptable. He said this measure will cause the closure of 370 re-rolling steel mills in Punjab, 72 steel manufacturing units in Lahore, 57 in Gujranwala and 10 in Islamabad leaving thousands of workers jobless apart from causing huge financial losses to the investors. He said that already prices of steel bars had increased by Rs 5000-6000 per ton, as this commodity was being sold at Rs 70,000-72000 per ton in the market and warned that it would soon reach at Rs 80,000 per ton if power crises of steel industry was not resolved. Javed Iqbal, Chairman, ICCI Sub-Committee on Energy warned that if power to steel furnaces was not restored by today, all labour employed in steel furnaces would be dismissed and the Government would be responsible for its consequence.