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Business suffers Rs5bn loss

September 19, 2012

A labourer is silhouetted as he sits in front of closed shops in a market in Karachi. – AFP

KARACHI, Sept 19: Trade and industry suffered a loss of Rs5 billion on Wednesday following closure of markets, commercial centres while industrial unit suffered production losses in main industrial areas.

All major markets, especially in the Old City area, remained completely shut as there was a strike call by the Jamat-i-Islami in protest against the killing of their leader in Laiquatabad. There was a general sense of anxiety among people after two explosions at Hyderi, a busy market place in North Nazimabad area, on Tuesday.

Some of the markets and shops, however, opened in the evening.

Many shops in residential areas of the city continued their businesses at a normal pace throughout the day.

Traders and industrialists contacted by Dawn project one day production and trade loss at Rs10 billion in case of complete closure in the city, but on Wednesday city’s financial loss was estimated at Rs5 billion.

Chairman, All Karachi Tajir Ittehad Atiq Mir, ruled out market closure due to Jamat-i-Islami’s strike call, and stated that businesses were actually shut over uncertain law and order situation following Hyderi Market explosions on Tuesday.

He estimated a trade loss of Rs2.5 to Rs 3 billion in view of wholesale/retail trade and commercial centres closure.

He expected a cumulative trade loss of Rs6 billion on Friday.Industries witnessed mixed production activities due to lack of public transport and thin labour attendance but some industrial sectors did not face any massive production loss as workers living in the vicinity of the industrial areas reached their respective units.

Chairman, Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Ehteshamuddin, said industries recorded only 50 per cent attendance which caused production loss of the same percentage or Rs150 million, otherwise one day loss in case of zero production is Rs300 million.

Apart from the Friday’s holiday, industries would brave another production loss as supply of gas to all industrial units and captive power units in Sindh would remain closed from Saturday (7am) to Monday (7am).

In view of uncertain working environment, Ehteshamuddin said export orders, which industrialists had missed, are not coming back.

Many industries are cutting down production and exporters are losing business owing to failure to meet deadlines.

Chairman, Site Association of Industry Mohammad Irfan Moton, claimed that 50-60 per cent industries remained completely closed, while operating units faced shortage of labour.

Chairman, FB Area Association of Trade and Industry (FBATI), Masroor Ahmed Alvi, said that the law and order situation remained under control in the area, and 80 per cent industries operated despite 20-25 per cent less work-force.

An industrialist in North Karachi Industrial Area said that production activities remained in the range of 70-80 per cent. However, some workers failed to mark their attendance but the situation was managed by a majority of workers living nearby.

Chairman, CNG Dealers Association Abdul Sami Khan, said that 70 per cent CNG and petrol pumps were closed on Wednesday morning out of 350 petrol pumps and 125 CNG stations in the city.

However, a number of owners opened their outlets after 4 pm.

The Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) will observe two-day CNG station closure starting from Friday (9am) to Sunday (9am).