SIALKOT - The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and all the other main trade bodies have urged the federal government to exempt the export-oriented Sialkot city from power and gas loadshedding keeping its global economical significance in view. They expressed grave concern over long hour power outages stretching over 16 to 18 hours on a daily basis in export-oriented city, urging the government to act swiftly to save the industry from total collapse.

According to details, the representatives of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PSGMEA), Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (SIMAP) and Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran strongly criticized the federal government for 16 to 18 hours worst loadshedding of electricity in Sialkot , demanding early exemption of Sialkot from power outages.

On the occasion, the SCCI asked the Gepco to announce a schedule for power loadshedding for the Sialkot industries.

Later, talking to the newsmen here, Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (SIMAP) Chairman Bilal Tanveer said that hundreds of small industrial surgical units in and around Sialkot city had already been closed due to the non-availability of gas and power.

He said that the hundreds of thousands of industrial workers were feared to be rendered jobless due to power and gas outages. He lamented that 16 to 18 hours long power outages had crippled the surgical industry, pushing the industry to the verge of collapse.

SCCI Departmental Committee on Wapda member Mian Muhammad Anwar said that despite repeated appeals of the business community, the Gepco had failed to come up with a remedy measures and provide relief to the perturbed exporters and traders of Sialkot. On the other hand, the outages-induced labourers warned of launch civil disobedience in protest against “what they said” unbearable unscheduled loadshedding of electricity in export-oriented Sialkot city.

They strongly condemned long hour loadshedding which had adversely affected not only industrial production but routine life of the common man.