Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (Kati) chairman Syed Johar Ali Qandhari along with representatives of other town associations at a press briefing warned the government that the industrialists would be forced to stop payment of bills to KESC and SSGC if the loadshedding was extended to industrial areas as per the schedule announced by the KESC.
Mr Qandhari said that loadshedding by KESC would result in closure of many industries, while production in many factories would be badly affected due to which they would not be able to pay the bills to any of the utility company.
According to a press release, the Kati chief also warned that if along with the loadshedding POL prices were also increased it is feared that prices of most essential commodity – flour – would be increased and the government may have to face the wrath of the people.
He also spoke about the huge interest being charged by the banks and that, too, for non-working days. He said that as a result of two weekly holidays announced by the government, deteriorating law and order situation, and strike calls the city remained closed for at least 125 days in a year. The banks should waive interest for this period.
“If the banks remained closed during this period and no clearing or transactions were made by them than why the industrialists should pay interest for this period”, he asked
Former Kati chairman Mian Zahid Husain advised the government to immediately arrange supply of an additional 200 to 300MW from Wapda to KESC so that the industrial areas could be spared from loadshedding.
He said the trade and industry had never wished to have any confrontation with the government or any of its functionaries but the continuous negative decisions and dysfunctional system of the government has forced the industry to close down units and stop payment of utility charges.
Pakistan Tanners Association chairman Aziz Ahmed pointed out that load-shedding had already started in Tannery Zone (sector 7-A) and leather industry has been badly affected.
He said that Eidul Azha getting closer was very crucial time for the export- oriented industry when it collects raw material in the form of skins and hides for the whole year and in case of loadshedding huge stocks would be destroyed.
Meanwhile, Site Association of Industry chairman Abdul Wahab Lakhani in a statement reacted strongly to massive loadshedding of 12 hours daily in
industrial area. He said the association received e-mail from DGM System Operation, KESC, which stated that due to continuous low gas supply, KESC had to resort to loadshedding for its industrial consumers in two groups. For group-1 from 0800 to 1200 hrs and for group-11 from 1200 to 1600 hrs.
It means there will be loadshedding of eight hours daily. Again for the second half the association has received another SMS from KESC saying that due to further gas reduction from SSGC an extra loadshedding will take place on all the industrial feeders of Karachi from 7:00pm to 11.00pm that means that the total loadshedding will be for 12 hours – four hours in the evening and eight hours in the morning..
Apart from the power loadshedding the SSGC has intimated that due to annual turnaround of Zamzama gas field there will be a shortfall of 204 mmcfd from Oct 27 till Nov 4.
This dual loadshedding of power and gas is bound to have a fatal blow to the very survival of industries in Karachi. At the time when the calendar year is closing and the exporters have to fulfill their shipment commitments industries can not afford to have a slowdown for any reason.
He urged the president and the prime minister to react urgently not only to save the industry but saving the country from becoming a net importing state.