Factories in Karachi will close on Monday, December 4, 2023 after industry players declared a massive strike over the recent hike in gas prices.
They urged that the government apply the OGRA-approved gas rates of Rs. 1,350 per MMBtu rather than the current extortionate Rs. 2,100-2,600 per MMBtu. The Vice Chairman of Businessmen Group (BMG) Jawed Bilwani said at a press conference on Thursday that banners have been hoisted at the offices of all trade associations and all industries will close on December 4 (Monday) if the government fails to meet the valid request to fix gas at Rs. 1,350/- MMBtu.
The BMG official underlined that this was the third press conference on the issue. He declared that the business community would continue to raise its voice until the government met its rightful demand to reduce gas tariffs.
He added that the new gas tariff has burdened industry with cross-subsidies in exchange for unjustified and unfair support to the fertilizer, household, and power sectors.
Meanwhile, President of SITE Association of Industry Muhammad Kamran Arbi said the current gas rates are bad news for industries, and the government should take note and reduce it to Rs. 1,350 per MMBtu. He demanded that the government convene a conference with industry stakeholders to reach an agreement on the gas price because the current tariff has exceeded manufacturing costs.
He also noted that the industry is still waiting for the promised winter package for supplementary electricity consumption, in which it was agreed to give electricity at a reduced cost of Rs. 20 per unit.