Karachi: 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) held a peaceful protest at Karachi Press Club, today 23rd April, 2018, followed by Press Conference in the wake of severe water and power outages which has reduced the industrial production to approx. 50% bringing the industries to the verge of disaster.
Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, President, SITE Association led the Protest and Press Conference accompanied Tariq Malik, President, KATI; Muhammad Babar Khan, President, FBATI; Shahid Sabir, President, NKATI; Dr. Kaiser Shaikh, President, SSHATI; Islamuddin Zafar, President, LATI; Salim Dada, President, BQATI 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 since 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.
The industrialists of Karachi are responsible for approx. 50% of total nation’s exports, 54% of direct taxes in the national exchequer, generation of 95% of sindh’s revenue from Karachi, employing more than 2.5 million workers are in worst ever crisis of its history. Utilities comes under the basic amenities and according to the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan, the Government is responsible to provide uninterrupted supply of power, gas & water which are the basic demands to run the wheels of Industries. The Federal Government as well as the Provincial Government of Sindh had never accorded priority to the industries of Karachi and were never serious to resolve their problems and ensure provision of uninterrupted basic amenities and quality infrastructure.
The industrial sector of Karachi is entirely documented and 100% in the tax net and contribute its 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.
The Water Tariff is highest in Karachi i.e. Rs243/- per thousand gallons whereby in other cities of Pakistan is Rs50/- to Rs55/-. The petroleum products supplied to upcountry on same cost being supplied to Karachi, however, it involves freight cost. Whereas there is no cost on supply of water to the Industries of Karachi, nevertheless, water is provided to Karachi Industries at exorbitant rates and even then water is not supplied to industries to reasons best known to the Government. To provide water, power and gas as well as infrastructure is the prime responsibility of Government. Since 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. 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.
The K-Electric is the only company who is responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity which holds a monopoly. The industries has always demanded to increase utilities generation, transmission and distribution companies to avoid monopolistic approach and create an environment of competition to ensure and provide better and interrupted utilities to the industries at competitive rates. It is also an irony that the utilities tariffs are highest in our country as compared to region and even then uninterrupted supply of water, power and gas are not available.
The Industrialist failed to understand the reasons of above acts and asked the government whether they want to run industries or not? The industries are the only rays of hope and genuine source to decrease the trade deficit, increase exports, generate more employment and uplift economy.
The Presidents, Industrial Town Associations appreciated the Prime Minister’s announcement as of today that SSGC will provide 190 mmcfd to K-Electric for power generation but at a belated stage and lapse 26 days whereby the Industries of Karachi have faced colossal financial losses approx. 37 billion rupees. While losses have been faced by the Industries who made huge investment, provide employment, and on the other hand K-Electric and SSGC have not lost a single rupees during this period. They lamented that the crisis occurred due to row between two utilities providers but ultimately the industries suffered. They questioned that who will compensate the losses being faced by the industries?
They further demanded that the Government must ensure that the electricity shall 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.
They also appealed to Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chief Minister of Sindh to resolve the issue of water as well because the water of supply to industries has been stopped. They demanded that water quota for all Industrial Zones must be declared. They asked the Government to inform the about the quantity of water being currently supplied to all industrial areas in Karachi. They further demanded to address this water crisis otherwise the Karachi Industrial Forum will go for a peaceful protest again.
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.