MABAD - The prevailing financial crunch has not only affected the commoners but some leading business enterprises and industrial tycoons have been forced to suspend their operations as well, on account of adverse earning conditions.
The gravity of the situation could be witnessed from the fact that several industrial groups, mill owners and manufacturers are undergoing intensified downsizing to stem the mounting ebb of economic decline. Some leading industrial zones including Hattar Industrial Estate, I-9 Industrial Area and business zones in Rawalpindi and Hazara Division have terminated hundreds of employees from their jobs. From low-rankers comprising security guards and peons to office bearers at executive level, a large number of employees has been shown the door.
According to details, one of the leading industrial groups of Pakistan operating in Hattar Industrial Estate has short-listed around three thousand employees in the last three months. The insiders confided to this scribe that around two thousand employees that were terminated some three months ago were given salaries and some other payable dues. However, their provident funds and other incentives were drastically cut down.
It has further revealed to TheNation that the remaining employees that have been terminated recently, are not given salaries or any other liable dues. In addition, on account of non-payment of electricity bills amounting to Rs 2.5 million, WAPDA has given the deadline to the said industrial group to pay the liable dues by Sunday (today) failing which the power supply to the factory would be turned down. Hundreds of employees living in the residential premises of the said factory have evacuated their residences and found alternative jobs while those who havent found any alternative modes of living are wandering from pillar to post. Some sacked employees said that all the five working units of the factory had been shut down. However, the factory management so far, has not announced to wind-up.
This scribe was also told that the employees were uncertain about their future. Since last one year, the management has kept mum about the future strategy. There is a prevailing uncertainty every where, they mentioned. It ought to be noted here that the aforementioned business organisation stands among few highly prosperous business enterprises. Its thousands of employees awaiting salaries demand of the management to address the issues related to their bread and butter.
Like wise, around two thousand employees from other smaller and large business units in Hattar have lost their jobs due to the closing down of the factories. In addition, there has been a massive cut-down in the salaries of those who are retained on jobs.
Details gleaned by this correspondent from industrial zones in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Hazara Division revealed that almost same number of employees similar to those of Hattar, has lost the jobs in the said cities. A prominent factory abandoned its operations in Haripur last year that resulted in the unemployment of hundreds. The sacked employees went to court against their terminations and matter was still pending in the local court. Majority of the business groups which sacked us belongs to the richest people of Pakistan. Financial crunch is no justification for gobbling our hard earned money. Even if they dont want to keep us employed, they must clear our pending arrears, the sacked employees demanded.
Meanwhile, the representatives of some factories said that the unaffordable rates of raw material, power and other related items had forced the mill owners to suspend their operations.