KARACHI: Around 50 per cent of small- to medium-sized salt makers have gone on strike against the “unjustified increase” in prices by the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC).

“Other manufacturers will follow suit in case the PMDC does not revert the price hike,” said Salt Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (SMAP) chairman Ismail Suttar, adding that there are around 2,000 salt makers in the country.

He said some 40-50 miners in the Kalabagh area have already stopped work.

The PMDC, he added, had increased the salt price by 100pc in various grades.

“The government is responsible for pushing up food inflation,” he regretted.

During an emergency meeting of SMAP’s executive committee, Mr Suttar said the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation had increased the prices without consulting makers.

The unilateral move by the corporation has created existential problems for the salt industry, he lamented.

He said the strike had been initiated from Kalabagh and would continue till the corporation reversed the price hike decision and resolved all other outstanding issues.

Salt makers procure the commodity from Kalabagh, Khewra and Quadabad areas and then process it in mills. Around 200,000-300,000 people are engaged in these mines.

Mr Suttar said Pakistan also exported pink salt worth $80-90 million a year.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2022

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