Businessmen stage protest against gas supply shortage

Businessmen stage protest against gas supply shortage

Businessmen stage protest against gas supply shortage

KCCI. Image: File

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KARACHI: The business community on Wednesday gathered outside the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) head office and demanded immediate restoration of gas supply to all the industrial zones.

Hundreds of demonstrators, including the leadership of the Businessmen Group (BMG) and the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) along with the presidents and representatives of all the industrial town associations and sector-specific trade associations warned that the campaign would continue and may intensify further until gas supply to all the industrial units is fully restored.

Accompanied by prominent business figures, BMG Chairman Zubair Motiwala, BMG Vice Chairman Jawed Bilwani and KCCI President Muhammad Idrees expressed concerns over the government’s inattentiveness towards resolving the issues being faced by the businessmen and industrialists of Karachi.

The industrialists were suffering huge losses due to the unavailability of gas or low pressure. They expressed disappointment over the government’s negligence in resolving the looming gas and regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) crises being suffered for several weeks.

They said that losses of up to Rs45 billion were being suffered daily due to the unavailability of gas to Karachi, which despite facing so many challenges, continues to contribute over 68 per cent revenue to the national exchequer, 54 per cent to the exports, while 52 per cent of the textile exports comes from the city.

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Referring to the allocation of 211mmcfd gas from Sindh’s resources to SNGPL, the BMG and the KCCI leadership demanded revival of the industrial activities in Karachi and allocated gas supply to the province, as it was highly unfair to deprive them from the provincial resources.

They said the rising demand for gas in Balochistan during the winter season was being fulfilled by the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) alone, which receives a major portion of 125mmcfd gas from Sui, whereas SNGPL, which takes away 180mmcfd from the area, enjoys normal gas supply.

The industrialists stressed that the rising demand for gas in Balochistan has to be meted out by SSGC and SNGPL as per the ratio of gas being received by them, which means that the additional demand of 160mmcfd in Balochistan during the winter season should be rationally divided with 41 per cent (65mmcfd) burden on SSGC and the remaining 59 per cent (95mmcfd) must be borne by SNGPL.

They were of the opinion that gas has to be supplied without any differentiation to all the industries including General, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and export-oriented industries as they all go hand-in-hand.

The BMG and KCCI leaderships appealed Prime Minister Imran Khan to take immediate cognizance of the situation and urgently respond to the constitutional right of the business community of Karachi to save the investment of industrialists and protect the soft and positive image of Pakistan globally.

They warned that if such an alarming situation prevails, the country may face unrest and uncertainty due to the closure of industries in Karachi, massive layoffs and drastic decline in the national exchequer further leading to chaos-like situation.

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