Pakistan's Export Engine Stalls as Karachi Industrialists Strike

KARACHI, Pakistan – November 29, 2023 – Industrialists in Karachi, Pakistan, have announced a complete production shutdown on December 4, 2023, to protest against the recent increase in gas prices. They estimate that this will result in an export loss of $47 million per day.

The industrialists are calling for the government to immediately bring down the gas rates to Rs1,350 per mmBtu, which was approved by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) in October 2023. However, the government has instead implemented a higher tariff of Rs2,100-2,600 per mmBtu.

The industrialists argue that the higher gas prices are making it impossible for them to compete in the global market. They say that they are already facing other challenges, such as a weak economy and high inflation, and that the higher gas prices are simply the last straw.

The shutdown is expected to have a significant impact on the Pakistani economy. Karachi is the country's largest industrial city, and the shutdown will affect a wide range of industries, including textiles, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.

The government has so far refused to budge on the gas prices, and it remains to be seen whether the industrialists will follow through with their threat of a shutdown. However, the industrialists are clearly prepared to take action to protect their businesses, and the shutdown could have a major impact on the Pakistani economy.

Here are some of the potential consequences of the shutdown:A loss of export earnings of $47 million per day
The government is facing a delicate balancing act. It needs to raise revenue to meet its financial obligations, but it also needs to keep businesses afloat. It remains to be seen whether the government will be able to find a compromise that satisfies both the industrialists and the public.

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