Karachi industries observe shutdown over hike in gas tariff

KARACHI-All industrial units of the city observed shutdown on Monday to protest against hike in gas tariffs. Industrialists earlier announced a complete production shutdown to force the caretaker government to reverse the unprecedented hikes in the gas tariffs.
President North Karachi Industries Association has said that the export unit will also be closed today (Tuesday).
“We are also observing strike over the government’s failing to enforce its promise of slashing electricity tariffs,” Faisal Moiz said.
Businessmen Group Vice-Chairman Jawed Bilwani said that downsizing will be started in factories with the gas shutdown. President Site Association said that the central protest will be held at the Site Association.
“We will observe production shutdown of one day and announce the next phase of the protest,” Javed Bilwani said. He said the industrial units in Nooriabad and Lasbela, Balochistan will also observe shutdown. Businessmen have already displayed protest banners at the offices of all trade associations, demanding the government to immediately bring down the gas rates to Rs1,350 per MMBTU approved by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) instead of the high tariffs of Rs2,100-2,600 per MMBTU.
Industrialists earlier said that the new gas tariff has burdened the industries with cross-subsidy for undeserving and unfair support to fertiliser and power sectors.
Businessmen Group leader Jawed Bilwani earlier said that gas is being provided to fertiliser sector at a much lower rate, which makes no sense as this sector enjoys a profitability of around 20-22pc.

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