Karachi, December 5, 2023 – The Karachi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) raised eyebrows on Tuesday as it expressed astonishment over the government’s notable silence in the face of escalating protests against the recent gas tariff hike.
The industrial sector’s dissatisfaction has been palpable, with KATI now highlighting the government’s lack of response to the growing unrest among businesses and exporters.
Faraz-ur-Rehman, President of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), has voiced deep concern regarding what he perceives as the government’s lack of empathy and responsiveness towards the escalating challenges confronting the industrial sector.
With more than 3,000 industries participating in the strike, underscoring the gravity of the situation, President Faraz-ur-Rehman noted an alarming indifference from the government and administration towards the economic ramifications. He pointed out that the government’s apparent nonchalance during the protest reflects a concerning disinterest in alleviating the hardships faced by industrialists.
Seeking immediate attention from Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, Army Chief General Asim Munir, and Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Gohar Ijaz, President KATI urged the government to address the urgent concerns raised by the industrial community.
President KATI emphasized the financial strain on manufacturers who are already teetering on the brink of bankruptcy due to the exorbitant cost of production, making it unfeasible for them to absorb the substantial 132 percent surge in gas prices. He also drew attention to the International Monetary Fund’s condition to eliminate circular credit, emphasizing the need to address 40 percent of line losses as a crucial step.
Faraz-ur-Rehman underscored that merely increasing prices is not a sustainable solution to the problem. He highlighted the industry’s significant losses and thefts, equivalent to the amount of gas required for production. Urging immediate action, President KATI stressed the importance of curbing theft and line losses, calling on the government to prioritize tackling these issues before imposing additional burdens on industrialists.
In the face of economic challenges confronting the industrial sector, the demand for urgent government intervention resonates throughout the business community, emphasizing the necessity for a collaborative effort to address the pressing issues impacting the nation’s economic landscape.