Traders protest against power outages


Hundreds of local industrialists, traders and workers staged a peaceful demonstration and took out a rally against power outages in Sialkot. The rally started from the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and ended at Allama Iqbal Chowk after passing through all the main city roads and bazaars. The SCCI representatives and the leaders of other main trade bodies led the rally while the participants were carrying banners and placards.
They chanted anti-government slogans and demanded immediate end to the load shedding in Sialkot. The industrialists and traders expressed their concern over the worst energy crisis, aggravating day by day in Sialkot. They added that the unending prolonged power outages had badly affected the industrial production in Sialkot industries, rendering thousands of male and female industrial workers jobless as most of the in Sialkot had already closed their two out of total three production and working shifts.
Meanwhile, SCCI Vice President Mirza Qaisar Baig said there was no relief for the business community of Sialkot as there was 18 to 20 hour-long unscheduled load shedding of electricity and gas. On the other hand, former MPA and exporter Arshad Mehmood Baggu advocate has called this situation alarming and expressed grave concern over the 40 percent decline in exports owing to the power and gas outages. He said this decline could be a great setback to the national economy and demanded the government exempt Sialkot from load shedding of electricity to boost the local industries.
‘CHINESE INVESTMENT TO OVERCOME ENERGY CRISIS’: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken a positive step to overcome energy crisis by initiating a project of 120 megawatts power production at Taunsa Barrage in collaboration with China. Punjab CM’s Special Assistant Mansha Ullah Butt said this while talking to journalists. He expressed concern over the increasing energy crisis in the Punjab and added that investment by the Chinese investors in the energy sector had now become vital to end power load shedding in the Punjab.
He further said if Musharraf and other governments had sought China’s cooperation, the energy crisis would have been overcome in Pakistan.
MINOR INJURED AFTER FALLING INTO MANHOLE: A minor Muhammad Naveed was seriously injured after falling into an open manhole in Fatehgarh. Reportedly, Naveed was going to school when he fell down in the open manhole there. The residents of the people pulled him out of the drain and took to Govt Allama Iqbal Memorial District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital in critical condition. Later, they protested against the tehsil municipal administration (TMA) officials, chanted slogans and demanded stern action against them for their alleged negligence.
PASSPORT AD ASSUMES CHARGE: The new assistant director of Sialkot Passport Office, Muhammad Riaz, has assumed the charge. During his recent visit to Sialkot, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had suspended Sialkot Passport Office AD Wilayat Hussain and transferred all the staff following public complaints regarding corruption and inhuman treatment with the applicants.