LCCI fears massive lay-offs in wake of gas suspension


Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday feared massive lay-offs in the industry in wake of gas suspension and urged the government to reverse the decision without any further delay for the sake of economy.
In a strong statement issued, LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Meher and Vice President Saeeda Nazar said if regular supply of gas to the industry was not restored, thousands of industrial workers, particularly the daily wagers would face retrenchment. “If there is no gas and no electricity, how can an industrial unit continue its operations?”
LCCI office-bearers urged the government to save the industry in Punjab which is providing jobs to over 15 million people. “Government would have to reset its priorities regarding provision of gas otherwise situation would go out of hands.” They said the gas closure decision is a calculated and well thought-out conspiracy against the present regime and people sitting at the helm of affairs must understand the importance of industry. They emphasised on the fact that it was the responsibility of the government to ensure level playing field to entire industry in Pakistan. Discrimination with the industry in Punjab is sheer injustice that calls for an intervention by prime minister of Pakistan. “The rise in number of unemployed would definitely give air to anti-government sentiments and street crimes. It is not only the industry that would be suffering massively, but the government would also lose on many counts.”
Irfan Qaiser Sheikh urged the government to immediately shelve the proposed, “Industry Closure Plan” to avert industrial closures and resultant massive lay offs. “How can the industry afford to pay the all-time high mark up when there in no gas for the industry?”