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PESHAWAR: Flour millers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rejected the unprecedented increase in electricity bills, demanding of the government to immediate withdraw it.

The demand was made during an emergency meeting of Pakistan Flour Mills Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (PFMA-KP) chapter, which presided over the association provincial chairman Haji Muhammad here at the APFMA office on Monday. Besides, office bearers of the association, owners of flour mills were present during the meeting in a large number.

The participants said the recent whopping increase in power tariff has created anger among the inflation-stricken people and flour mills industry. The millers expressed fear that the price of a 20-kg flour bag would be increased by Rs50 to Rs100 following the massive increase in electricity prices.

Muhammad Iqbal on behalf of the association appealed to caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul Haq Kakar and caretaker Chief Minister KP Muhammad Azam Khan to withdraw the recent increase in electricity prices immediately.

He warned that if the government didn’t take back the unprecedented increase in power tariff, the flour mills industry of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be completely shut down, which will trigger massive unemployment in the province.

Meanwhile, the Protests against inflated electricity bills in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa continued for the fourth day on Monday. Interestingly, an emergency meeting held on Sunday at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad ended without a decision.

It was reportedly, in Balakot, the business community and common man rejected the increase in electricity bills. Members of the Anjuman-i-Tajran pulled shutters of their shops down. A rally was also taken out against hike in taxes and inflated electricity bills. A complete shutter-down strike was held in Mansehra on the call of the Anjuman-i-Tajran. All business centres in the district were closed.

Traders and citizens took out a rally and after marching through the city roads, reached Wapda office where they staged sit-in. Protests were also reported from Kamra Cantt, Charsadda, Swabi and Mardan. Meanwhile, Inflation-weary Pakistanis are hitting the streets in huge numbers to protest against inflated electricity bills in almost every part of the country.

On the other hand, security of Wapda house Peshawar and Pesco installations upgraded after further deployment of police force in Peshawar and rest parts of the province in wake of increasing protests, rallies/demonstrations against inflated power bills and anger among people in this regard.

It is worth mentioning here that the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) has asked for police protection due to continuous protests of the masses amid inflated electricity prices. Earlier, a notification issued by the Assistant Manager Transport PESCO directed all officers to avoid usage of government vehicles, especially those with green number plates till the normalization of Law and Order situation to avoid any untoward incident and damage to Government and PESCO assets.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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