LAHORE - The manufacturers Saturday took a strong exception to sudden, abrupt and without prior notice suspension of electricity to the steel furnaces that were already suffering heavy losses due to non supply of gas.

They feared a surge in unemployment graph and crime rate in case of complete closure of steel mills that employ millions of workers.

They said that the business community was foreseeing some betterment in electricity supply after the assurance of Secretary Water and Power during her visit to Lahore a few days back but unfortunately the electricity situation has further aggravated. No schedule of restoration of power has been spelled out by LESCO.

LCCI president Farooq Iftikhar said that at a time when the furnaces and re-rolling mills had already laid off workers and were operating with skeleton staff because of non supply of gas, the sudden suspension of electricity has sent a wave of shock to the workers and owners alike. “How would the government be able to control crimes when a large population would be without jobs due to thoughtless decisions.

He said that a number of re-rolling mills and furnaces are closing down or are bound to make huge retrenchments whereas, the defaulters owe billion of rupees.

He said that it would have been wiser on the part of the government, if it had devised some fool proof strategy to stop power and gas pilferage that is one of the major causes of the shortage of these utilities.