One-day strike costs exchequer Rs 5b, say industrialists | Pakistan Today

One-day strike costs exchequer Rs 5b, say industrialists

KARACHI – Strikes in the country cost national exchequer at least Rs five billion daily, the industrialists told the government and protested against the recent 9.9 percent hike in petroleum products prices. “One-day strike causes Rs five billion revenue loss to the national exchequer, the government should realise this factor,” said SM Muneer, patron in-chief of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI).
He was addressing the gathering at the annual dinner 2010 hosted by KATI having Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad as a chief guest. He said instead of increasing the prices of petroleum products and utilities the government should try to avoid greater losses in the shape of strikes and the resultant industrial shutdown and export shipments’ failures.
Expressing his dismay over the recent 10 percent increase in POL prices, Muneer said, the increase would not only be backbreaking for the masses but would also be extremely detrimental to the national economy, which was already reaching the verge of collapse. The industrialist also reiterated his demand that the government hand over the management of loss-making public organisations such as PIA, Railways, Pakistan Steel, PEPCO etc, to some honest and professional stakeholders in the private sector to bring them out of red and save Rs 500 billion subsidies given to these organisations annually.
KATI Chairman Syed Johar Ali Qandhari requested the Sindh governor to give priority to the ongoing crisis of utilities shortage such as power load-shedding, water and gas shortage in the country’s industrial and commercial hub, Karachi. “Government should have to address the economy on first priority as industries are closing down, exports declining, raw materials are getting expensive frequently and the Pakistani rupee has been devalued by 40 percent in the last three years”, Qandhari pointed out.
The outgoing KATI chief Razzak Hashim Paracha said Pakistan’s industry was in really bad shape and the government should have act positively to save the industrial base to avoid mass scale unemployment in the country. In his address, Sindh governor said all parties should sit together and find ways and means to face challenges being faced by the country.
Dr Ebad said the country was facing various challenges particularly those related to law and order and declining economy. He said the MQM had already rejected recent increase in petroleum prices as a big burden on masses. The governor said though the country’s economic condition was not good but some indicators like the soaring foreign exchange reserves and exports were showing that the situation was still not that bad.
Former Chairman Mian Zahid Husain lauded the governor’s effort in line with exempting Karachi’s industry from load-shedding. Provincial ministers of Sindh Agha Siraj Durrani, Rauf Siddiqi, FPCCI Vice President Khalid Tawab and Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan also spoke on the occasion.

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