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Goods transporters end 10-day long strike on Wednesday

Karachi (May 17, 2017): 10-day long  Goods transporters’ strike has finally been called off following the successful negotiations between Sindh Government and goods transporters today. Earlier, it was reported that Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair met  with Pakistan Goods Transporters’ Alliance to call off the strike. 

According to the details, the goods transporters have eventually decided to end the 10 days long strike after the talks with Government today. Sindh Transport Minister Nasir Hussain Shah as well as Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani announced the recent development in a press conference. On the other hand, Governor office also claimed that the strike is called off after the second round of talks between Governor Sindh and Transporters.

Transporters refused to carry the goods and consignments from the ports to the market which caused heavy losses to the economy.

According to a report published earlier in the day, the strike rendered a colossal loss of billions to the industry due to the hiccups in transportation of trade consignments, a senior industry official said.

According to the Members of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, it is difficult to calculate an actual loss but it would be around $1 billion as the entire economy is affected due to the transporters’ protest.

On March 31, the Sindh High Court banned the movements of heavy traffic within the city during the day.

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Since transporters refused to carry goods from the ports to the markets after the ban, the containers stood full at Karachi International Container Terminal and Pakistan International Container Terminal.

Shoaib Khan, chief coordinator of goods transporters association said the strike of goods transporters will continue till the provincial government issues any notification to allow substitute routes. Khan, after a meeting with Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair, said two round of meetings were held but to no avail.

According to the the Governor House, Mohammad Zubair assured the transporters of resolving their issues. He said the economy is facing immense losses due to the protest. It would discourage potential investment in the country, he added. Another meeting was held at the Karachi Port Trust, which was attended by all the stakeholders, including transporters, but it remained fruitless.

Governor assured the transporters to address their reservations. The governor also assured them of providing security to their loaded goods vehicles.

It is worth mentioning here that the goods transporters had called a strike to protest government’s move, taken on court directives, to bar heavy vehicles from moving inside the city.

Jawed Bilwani, chairman of the All Pakistan Exporters Association told, all the production in the export-oriented sector remained suspended due to strike, which brought around Rs 214 billion loss to the economy.

Both Karachi International Container Terminal and Pakistan International Container Terminal had halted their operations owing to lack of space. The authorities at the Karachi sea ports had started to deny dock and permit unloading of goods from foreign exporters.

Earlier today Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah said that a review application has been filed in the court pertaining to goods transporters’ strike in the city.

“We are sympathetic to the problems of goods transporters,” he remarked while speaking to the media during a trip to Sehwan.

Later, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh A. D. Khawaja has directed the range, zonal and district police to ensure every possible cooperation with the traffic police to ensure smooth flow of traffic in wake of the end of transporters strike.

“All deputy inspector generals and senior superintendents of police will personally monitor the measures, being taken in connection with the smooth flow of traffic on roads,” a statement issued by the police department quoted the IGP as saying.

He also directed the traffic police to take solid measures to ensure smooth flow of traffic and make efforts to reduce pressure on roads. He also urged the relevant officials to take extra ordinary measures to keep people aware of the roads being affected by development works as well as inform them about alternative routes.

The provincial police chief asked all police stations and relevant traffic sections to ensure joint efforts to maintain a smooth flow of traffic.

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