Highly irked on the government’s plan to privatise distribution companies, the workers of Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) on Wednesday staged a string of demonstrations outside the company offices and threatened to cut power supply for indefinite period if the plan was not cancelled.

A large number of workers belonging to WAPDA Hydro Electric Workers Union (CBA) participated in the demonstration. Despite hot weather, hundreds of workers joined the protests at the call of Pakistan Workers Federation and observed a sit-in in front of Mepco headquarters.

Speaking on the occasion, Regional Chairman Ghulam Rasul, Zonal president of Hydro Union Chaudhry Muhammad Khalid, Ch Younas, Sajjad Baloch, Shakeel baloch, Mehr Altaf and Abdul Samad, rejected the privatisation plan and vowed to resist the implementation of IMF agenda in the country.

Senior office-bearers of Union Ghulam Rasul Gujjar, Sajjad Baloch, Malik Saeed, Mehr Altaf, Ikram Alvi, Rana Zahid Javed, Ch Khushi Muhammad, Izhar Khan Mukhtar Bukhari, Saleem Gilani, Sheikh Shahid Hussain, Ghulam Dastgir Maitla and Naveed Baloch opposed privatisation of the Wapda and dissolution of Mepco.

The labour leaders claimed that privatisation of electric company has proved a failure and one of clear examples is K- Electric Company. They feared that after privatization, the new management will start massive downsising. The labour leader said that Wapda employees know very well how to safeguard their interests and do not fear harsh steps like mass arrests. They said that a conspiracy was being hatched to destroy Mepco and other distribution companies. They reiterated that their demands regarding upgradation, increase in salaries and pension should be accepted.

Besides Multan, the weekly strike and protest demonstration of Wapda employees were held in major cities and towns of Pakistan. Protests were also held in Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanewal, Lodhran, Vehari and other area.

PROCUREMENT: The wheat procurement target for Multan district for the ongoing year has been fixed at 2.27 lac matric ton and 16 purchase centres have been set up for the purpose.

Wheat would be bought at the support price of Rs1,300 per maund. Chairing a meeting here on Wednesday, the Multan DCO said that measures had been taken to make the process transparent. He added that the procurement would continue till lifting even last grain from the farmers while the growers would be offered facilities like shelter and drinking water at the procurement centres. He warned that the wheat with more than 10 percent moisture would not be bought, adding that latest equipment to test the moisture had been given to the staff at the centres. He declared that the centres would work round the clock whole week.

He disclosed that a committee comprising tehsildar and other staff would be deployed at each centre to listen to the complaints of the farmers and address them on the spot. He said that he himself would monitor the procurement process. He said that the gunny bags would be given to the farmers with proportion to their land. He warned the staff that no corruption in the procurement process would be tolerated.