KARACHI: Karachi Industrial Forum (KIF) has claimed that industries of Karachi have faced a massive financial loss of approximately Rs 37 billion during the last three weeks due to belated decision on SSGC and KE dispute on gas supply.

The presidents of all industrial town associations have appreciated the Prime Minister’s announcement that SSGC will provide 190 mmcfd to K-Electric for power generation but they said the decision has been taken after 26 days of which industries have faced financial losses of some Rs 37 billion.

“Industries have faced billions of rupee losses due to the dispute between two utility providers, while on the other hand K-Electric and SSGC have not lost a single rupee during this period”, they added.

KIF urged that as now the issue has been resolved; government must ensure that the electricity should be supplied to industries without interruption forthwith. They further demanded the Industrial Town Associations must be taken on board in respect to the matter of SSGC and K-Electric.

“The issue of electricity has been resolved now there is need to address water crisis otherwise the Karachi Industrial Forum will go for a peaceful protest again”, they threaten.

They have also appealed to Prime Minister of Pakistan and Sindh Chief Minister to resolve the issue of water as well because the water supply to industries has been stopped.

Karachi industrialists demanded that water quota for all industrial zones must be declared and government should inform about the quantity of water being currently supplied to all the industrial areas in Karachi.

The Industrialists of Karachi appealed the federal and provincial governments to save the industries, exports, foreign exchange earnings, employment and economy from complete collapse by providing uninterrupted basic utilities – power, water and gas and required infrastructure.

Earlier, on Monday morning, Karachi Industrial Forum (KIF) representing SITE Association of Industry (SAI), Korangi Association of Trade & Industry (KATI), Federal B Area Association of Trade & Industry, Landhi Association of Trade & Industry (LATI), North Karachi Association of Trade & Industry (NKATI), SITE Super Highway Association of Industry (SSHATI), Bin Qasim Association of Trade & Industry (BQATI) staged a peaceful protest demonstration at the Karachi Press Club followed by the Press Conference in the wake of severe water and power outages which has reduced the industrial production to approximately 50 percent bringing the industries to the verge of disaster.

SITE Association president Muhammad Jawed Bilwani led the protest. While addressing the Press Conference accompanied KATI president Tariq Malik, FBATI president Muhammad Babar Khan, NKATI president Shahid Sabir, SSHATI president Dr Kaiser Shaikh, LATI president Islamuddin Zafar, BQATI president Salim Dada and other industrialists lamented that the industries have been facing severest ever crisis of power since last 26 days whereby industries are compelled to stop due to no power supply from K-Electric for 8-10 hours every day.

Similarly there is no water from KW&SB for last 26 days. When industrialists through self-help make water available through sub soil, the same is also disturbed every now and then. Supply of water through tankers in industrial areas is restricted. Harassment by bureaucracy of all departments is also rampant.

Jawed Bilwani said the industrial sector of Karachi is entirely documented and 100 percent in the tax net and contributes major share in tax base. The Industries can only change the fate of our beloved country from under-develop to develop nation but has been victimized. “It appears that the situation being faced by the industries is pre-planned and there are some ulterior motives to wipe out the industries to ultimately destroy the economy of Pakistan”, he added.

He mentioned that the water tariff is highest in Karachi i.e. Rs 243 per thousand gallons whereby in other cities of Pakistan is Rs 50 to 55.

“To provide water, power and gas as well as infrastructure is the prime responsibility of Government. For last more than one decade, the democratic electoral process has been continued and the elected representatives have been at the helms of affairs in the Government”, he said.

Nonetheless, the industries have been deprived to provide the basic amenities and the Federal and Provincial Government of Sindh are only busy in lip service and giving hopes. Bilwani said the industries are the only rays of hope and genuine source to decrease the trade deficit, increase exports, generate more employment and uplift economy.