KARACHI, Sept 21: Revenue and trade losses in the country on account of a complete closure are estimated to be over Rs100 billion.
The cost of loss to public and private property in acts of arson and looting by violent protestors is in addition to the base figure.
The actual figure of losses would be projected later, said business leaders contacted by Dawn.
They added that the amount would run into billions in view of torching of petrol stations, CNG pumps, cinema houses, shops, offices and hotels as protesters vent their anger against blasphemous US film.
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mian Abrar Ahmed said that trade, industrial production and revenue losses in Karachi per day are estimated at Rs14 billion. To ascertain a country-wide figure, it can be multiplied by 10.
“There was anarchy as violent crowds ruled streets from Karachi to Peshawar,” he said, adding that there should be some other way to protest the scornful film instead of announcing closures.
In Karachi, he said during the current week industry would work for only three days as gas supply to all industrial units and captive power units in Sindh would remain closed from Saturday (7am) to Monday (7am).
Karachi has already suffered over five billion rupees trade loss on Wednesday on account of a strike called by the Jamaat-i-Islami to protest the death of their leader and by traders to protest the killing of eight people in Hyderi market. Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Shirani said that it would be hard to quantify the loss as many public places and utility services were also set on fire during violence.
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Irfan Qaiser Shaikh told Dawn that the country’s one day trade, business, revenue, export/import loss must have crossed Rs60 billion on Friday.
“The losses on account of arson in the entire country ranges between Rs20 and 25 billion,” he said.