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Wednesday, July 24, 2024  
17 Muharram 1446  

Karachi industrialists announce strike against hike in gas prices

Plan to shut industries in first week of December
An elderly man sits at a shuttered market during a traders countrywide strike against the price hike, in Peshawar on July 13, 2019. AFP
An elderly man sits at a shuttered market during a traders countrywide strike against the price hike, in Peshawar on July 13, 2019. AFP

Industrialists of Karachi announced their decision on Tuesday to go on strike in the first week of December against the massive increase in gas prices, warning that they would stage citywide protest if the fuel was not provided.

The decision was announced by the zonal representatives of industrial zones in a press conference at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The decision comes after the government announced last week that another hike in gas prices was slated for January 2024, at a time when the use of natural gas spikes.

The electricity and gas rates would be “continuously revised” to prevent the accumulation of circular debt in both the gas and power sectors, Interim Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar told reporters in Islamabad on November 16.

But the industrialists said that the situation for them had become “unbearable” and added that industries were facing a “crisis”.

They demanded that industries should run so that labourers have a livelihood. They warned of stopping exports if the decision was not reviewed and that the strike may lead to countrywide.

It merits here to mention that last month the federal government notified a hike of up to 172% in gas prices. Consumers who use less than 0.9hm3 gas per month and make up 57% of total consumers will have to pay fixed charges of Rs400.

Fixed charges for consumers using 1.5hm3 have been raised to Rs1,000 while charges for those using up to 4hm3 have been raised to 2,000.

“The rapidly dwindling natural gas reserves at a rate 5-7% per year is burdening the national gas basket with more expensive imported fuel,” the notification said.

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Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry