KARACHI: Industrial and trading activities remained at a low ebb on Wednesday due to tense situation following the arrest of a former MQM MPA.
Traders at main wholesale and retail markets did not open their shops and industries witnessed a sharp drop in attendance owing to lack of public transport after 9am.
Movement of goods remained paralysed as transporters kept their vehicles parked till evening owing to violence.
People having their own vehicles also halted their movement after closure of CNG stations and petrol pumps, which were later opened after 4pm.
Chairman, Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Zubair Chahya, said only 20 per cent industries, out of over 4,000 units, were open but they failed to achieve optimum production owing to poor attendance of workers.
He said exporters and industrialists were facing huge export losses owing to Customs agents strike for the last two days which finally ended on Wednesday.
Chairman, Site Association of Industry (SAI), Dr Arshad Vohra, said that there was a big drop in attendance in units in the area.
Senior Vice Chairman Site Association Nasim Anwar said that only 30pc workers, living in nearby areas, marked their presence. People having their own transport or dependent on public transport did not arrive.
Chairman, FB Area Association of Trade and Industry (FBATI), Haroon Shamsi, said that around 20-25pc industries, out of total 2,000 units, remained completely shut while others operated at 70 to 80pc production efficiency in the morning shift as many workers turned up.
However, production in the afternoon shift was at 50pc capacity due to lack of transport.
Former Chairman, North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry (NKATI), Abdul Rasheed Fodderwala, said that the area witnessed 20-25pc shutdown of industries out of a total of 2,200 units.
He said those industries, which were operating, recorded only 30-40pc attendance of workers in the morning shift, which caused 60pc drop in production activities.
Evening shift was also hit as only 50pc workers could reach owing to lingering tension in the city.
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Haroon Agar estimated an overall loss (trade, industrial production, revenue, exports, ports, etc) of Rs3 to 4bn on Wednesday.
President, All-Karachi Tajir Ittehad (AKTI), Atiq Mir, estimated a cumulative trade, industrial, export, loss at ports, etc Rs14-15bn on Wednesday.
He said the closure of business activities hit over 2.5m daily wagers in industrial units, markets etc.
The city has over 600,000 retail shops and over 10,000 small to big industrial units. Atiq said only small shops in some localities were open.