FAISALABAD: A large number of workers and entrepreneurs associated with the textile sector held demonstrations here on Saturday in protest against suspension of gas supply.
The rallies were organised by the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA), Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), Council of Loom Owners (CLO) and All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA).
Processions, taken out from Millat Road, Khurianwala, Sargodha Road and Sattiana Road, converged at the District Council Chowk where protesters blocked traffic by setting tyres on fire. They also burnt effigies of the government’s leading lights.
The protesters carried black flags, placards and banners inscribed with slogans seeking immediate restoration of gas supply and solution of the problems the workers and the millers were facing because of the gas crisis.
They also chanted slogans against the federal government.
Addressing the protesters, Syed Zia of the PHMA, Rizwan Ashraf and Aftab Ahmed of the APTPMA, Waheed Khaliq of the CLO and Asghar Ali of the PTEA said the workers and entrepreneurs had been facing numerous problems owing to suspension of gas supply.
They said the suspension had rendered thousands of workers jobless and landed the exporters in a quandary because they had been finding it difficult to honour their export commitments in time.
They said the gas supply suspension would increase the number of sick units at a time when the country required foreign exchange.
They said industrial units in other parts of the country were getting almost uninterrupted gas supply while those in Punjab had been left without gas for the past seven weeks.
They appealed to the government to restore the supply to save the industries and millions of workers from virtual starvation.
They also announced that they would run their factories at 50 per cent load as committed with the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines.