FAISALABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has taken notice of industrialists’ protests against electricity load-shedding, and has directed authorities to address problems hampering growth of the sector, State Minister for Privatisation Rana Asif Tauseef said on Monday. Angered by incessant and widespread load shedding, industrialists had earlier refused to pay their bills in protest.
The minister urged industrialists to clear their electricity bills by the 10th of this month, as the government has decided to incentivise payments by waiving penalties.
The minister held a meeting with representatives of the textile industry here in Faisalabad. He revealed that a high level meeting – to be attended by all stakeholders – will be held with Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar to discuss problems of the textile industry.
Earlier, Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Rana Arif Tauseef said that if problems of the industry were not resolved, the latter will be compelled to agitate to register its protests.
He bemoaned the fact that a number of industrial units have been shut down because of electricity shortages. Collapse of the textile industry will lead to lawlessness in the country, he claimed; adding that the government should consider PTEA’s warning a wake-up call.
He said the Faisalabad Electricity Supply Company was supplying electricity to industries for a mere eight hours every day for the last two months. Textile millers, driven to desperation, have started contacting the association for selling their units, he said.
The PTEA chairman urged the government to resolve the energy crisis and address the problems of the industry. He asked members to pay their electricity bills after getting their penalties deducted and hoped that a positive solution will be arrived at in the meeting with the minister of power.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.
More in BusinessSino-pak friendship: Orient expands energy projects