Lahore, November 17, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry 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.
In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar feared a surge in unemployment graph and crime rate in case of complete closure of steel mills that employ lakhs of workers.
The LCCI President said that the business community were 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.
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. The LCCI President 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.
Farooq Iftikhar 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.
He said that the province of the Punjab which is subjected to worst power cuts has recovery ratio of 98% whereas in other provinces this ratio is around 50% thus making the steel products being produced in Punjab uncompetitive in other parts of the country.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854