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Load-shedding to industrial areas, industrialists to stop payment of bills.

KARACHI, October 27, 2010 (Frontier Star) : The industrial sector has sounded alarm bell of massive closure of industries in Karachi if the KESC and SSGC would go ahead of their plan to carry out load-shedding in industrial areas and industries compel to stop payment of bills to both the utilities agencies. The Chairman, Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Syed Johar Ali Qandhari along with representatives of other town associations warned government that industrialists would be forced to stop payment of bills to KESC and SSGC if the load-shedding would be extended to industrial areas as per the schedule announced by the KESC. Qandhari said that load-shedding by KESC in industrial areas would result in closure of many industries while production of all the factories would be badly affected due to which they would not be able to pay the bills to any of the utility agency. The former Chairman, KATI, Mian Zahid Husain in his proposal advised the government to immediately arrange an additional 200 to 300 mega watts from WAPDA to KESC so that load-shedding plan by KESC would not be extended to industrial areas. He pointed out that except Karachi rest of the country is not facing load-shedding and WAPDA can easily enhance power supply to KESC. The Chairman, Pakistan Tanners Association, Aziz Ahmed pointed at this occasion that load-shedding has already started in Tannery Zone (Sector 7-A) and leather industry has been badly affected. He said that Eidul Azha is approaching fast and this is very crucial time for this second largest export oriented industry when it collects whole years raw material in shape of skins and in case of load-shedding the huge stocks of hides and skins would be destroyed. Mian Zahid Husain has further stated that trade and industry has never wished to have any confrontation with the government or any of its functionaries but the continuous negative decisions by the government and dysfunctional system of the government has forced the industry to close down and stop payment to the utilities agencies. KATI Chief has mentioned towards another issue of huge interest being charged by the banks and that too for non-working days. He said that governments decision to have two weekly holidays and due to deteriorating law and order situation, strike calls and target killings in Karachi, the city remains closed for at least 125 days in a year, the banks should waive interest for this period. "If the banks remain closed during this period and no clearing or transactions are made by them than why the industrialists should pay them interest for this period", Qandhari asked. He further stated that this issue would be vigorously taken up with the high ups and the State Bank of Pakistan. Mian Zahid Husain pointed out another serious issue by stating that the incidents of kidnapping for ransom have increased alarmingly and the businessmen are receiving threat calls. He said that authorities have been approached and phone numbers of such criminals have been identified. He warned that if the government would not take the action seriously, the flight of capital from the country would be increased. KATI chief also warned that if the load-shedding extended to the industrial areas and POL prices would be increased by the government it is feared that prices of most essential commodity - flour would be increase and the government may have to face the wrath of the people.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Oct 27, 2010
Words:571
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