Nearly 200 re-rolling steel mills have been closed down for last 13 days in Lahore by the owners against government’s measures to increase revenues in the budget 2019-20. Most of these units are situated in Badami Bagh, Bund road and GT Road Darughe Wala. This action by steel mills owners has made thousands of daily wage workers unemployed.
The workers working in the re-rolling mills and as loaders have found no work in last two weeks. There are thousands of workers working in hundreds of re-rolling mills in different parts of Lahore. The mills closure has made them unemployed. Their families are facing economic hardships and starvation.
Hundreds of workers staged protest demonstration and blocked the main GT Road near Darughe Wala. They protested against the closure of mills and non-payment of wages and other dues. The workers blamed that closure of mills have made them unemployed and owners of mills are not even paying tem wages and dues. Their families are starving because they cannot find work.
The protesting workers warned that if the mills are not going to open immediately and their dues are not cleared then they will organise more protests and sit-ins. They appealed to the government to help them to get their jobs back and save their families from starvation.
On the other hand, the mill owners are blaming the government for this closure. The owners are claiming that they have been paying taxes for years but tax authorities are harassing them. They are saying that government policies left no other option for them to close down their mills. They urged the government to negotiate with them to sort out the issues over taxes. The government has increased the prices of natural gas for the industries. The owners of small and medium units in protest closed their mills.
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27 September, 2019