Protests erupt against power bills

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ISLAMABAD: Protests have erupted across the country prompted by inflated electricity bills and hike in taxes with traders demanding withdrawal of an increase in the average tariff.

The boiling frustration over inflated electricity bills and recent hike in taxes exploded into a countrywide protest with traders leading from the forefront. Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) also joined the protests.

The traders’ community staged protests in Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Sukkur, Tando Allah Yar, Tulamba, Kasoor, Mailsi, Depalpur, Peshawar, Daska, Hasilpur, Liaquatpur, Haveli Lakha, and Bahawalnagar.

The traders’ community, led by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), staged a demonstration at the Aabpara Chowk, demanding the government to withdraw the increase in electricity tariffs and taxes.

The protesters chanted slogans against the government and threatened to expand their protest if their demands were not met.

In Lahore, protests erupted in various areas, including Johar Town, Altaf Colony, and loadshedding-affected areas. The protesters, including traders and residents, blocked roads and chanted slogans against the government. They demanded an end to the prolonged loadshedding and reduction in electricity tariffs.

The Chamber of Small Traders in Multan organised a protest against the hike in electricity bills and taxes. A large number of traders participated in the protest, demanding the government to reduce electricity tariffs and withdraw the increase in taxes.

Traders in Sukkur staged a rally and marched from the Sarafa Bazaar to the Ghanta Ghar Chowk, demanding the government to reduce electricity tariffs and withdraw the increase in taxes.

Meanwhile, residents of Tando Allah Yar staged a protest and blocked roads while chanting slogans against the government.

The All-Pakistan Traders Association (APTA) had warned the federal government to abolish additional taxes by June 30 or face further actions.

Ajmal Baloch, President of the All-Pakistan Traders Association, alongside other traders, made this announcement during a joint press conference in Islamabad. He stated that the government has committed an injustice regarding electricity bills.