Steel units fear massive layoffs, unrest: PSRMA

LAHORE: Pakistan Steel Re-Rolling Mills Association (PSRMA) has showed concern over suspension of power to the industry and feared massive layoffs and unrest if power was not restored immediately.
PSRMA Chairman Asmat Pervaiz and patron Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Akbar said s re-rolling industry in Punjab was passing through a crisis-like situation due to unavailability of electricity and gas that was a prime raw material for the steel sector.
They said because of heavy taxation in budget 2014-15, the steel industry was already in deep crisis and struggling for survival. They said the government would have to announce a special package to save the dying steel sector besides ensuring provision of regular supply of electricity.
They said it was very unfortunate steel industry in Punjab has no electricity while gas was being provided for round about one day a week while situation in other parts of the country is quite different.
PSRMA has pointed out every year element of discrimination in electricity and gas supply to the Punjab should be stopped and distribution of gas supply should be in accordance with the size of industry and not according to the area of province.
“When the industry in Punjab is paying a considerable amount of revenue to the exchequer, its protection is also the responsibility of federal government.”
It is submitted closure of power supply to the around 500 steel units in Punjab has also resulted in total closure of 28 dependent industries of steel sector to whom raw material was being provided by the re-rolling industry. These industries include agricultural implements, sewing machines, surgical instruments, tractor spares, power looms, electric fan and appliances, light engineering, housing and construction etc.
The closure of industry due to suspension of electricity would deprive millions of workers attached with steel sector, which would cause unrest in the country.
Association urged the concerned high ups to save the industry of Punjab from total disaster and also save millions of workers and their families from starvation.

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