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Pakistan’s business community on strike over inflated power bills

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s business community on Saturday observed a shutter-down strike across the country to protest against the inflated electricity bills and rising inflation.
Rightwing Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and traders’ groups gave the call for protest and they got support from lawyers.
Commercial activities were halted in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar, as well as in other cities, while public transport was largely off the main roads.
In Karachi, the Tajir Action Committee (TAC) on Friday gave the government 72 hours to reduce high electricity bills and withdraw the recent hike in petrol prices.
It warned that if the government failed to fulfil its demands, there would be a prolonged strike of 10 days.
TAC Convener Muhammad Rizwan said there was no compulsion on anyone to join the strike.
The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) supported the strike call. However, its President Mohammad Tariq Yousuf said large-scale industries were not part of the strike.
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that the government was failing to read the writing on the wall.
“Out-of-box thinking is required to emerge from the economic crisis,” he said.
The strike comes a day after Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said that inflated bills were not a big issue and the government would address the problem.
“It is not a very serious issue, but political parties are in election mode and using it as a social cause,” he told journalists on Friday.



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