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FPCCI slams suspension of gas supply to industries


FPCCI Photo: File

KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has criticised the decision of the government to suspend gas supply to non-export industries.

FPCCI president Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo expressed concern and disappointment on the government’s decision to suspend gas supply to non-export-oriented industries; which will result in the losses of billions of rupees, to say the least.

He questioned the government that why no preemptive arrangements were made; while everyone in the government knew that there will be huge gas shortage in the winter months?

He regretted that only 10 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are coming in December 2021, compared with 12 in December 2020.

Maggo said that the delayed tendering has proven to be extremely expensive and resulted in less than required offers; and, that too, on a very high rate.

Only 886MMCFD of LNG will be imported in December 2021 and only 950MMCFD in January 2022, which is 27 per cent less than the LNG imports in December 2020 and January 2021, respectively.

The FPCCI president said that the responsibility and liability lies with the government for the criminal negligence for practicing delay and procrastination in issuing LNG cargoes again.

Had the tenders were issued in a planned, coordinated and timely manner, there would have been no shortage by now, he added.

Maggo said that the FPCCI has time and again raised this issue; and, still industries have to endure gas suspension several times in every single year.

Had the government come to the FPCCI for a consultative process on the issue, “we would have provided them guidelines to successfully forfend the gas crisis in a win-win mechanism”.

The FPCCI chief raised the question that why the government does not issue enough LNG import licences to commercial importers to bridge the gap? Instead, it keeps mismanaging the gas supplies to the industries.

Maggo has called for an immediate and direct intervention of Prime Minister Imran Khan to save the industrial backbone of Pakistan.

He proposed that, though difficult, but the PM should consider the option of spot tendering with the help of friendly countries.

The FPCCI extends its full support to the premier for the resolution of the issue, once and for all, he added.

The FPCCI strongly demands immediate steps to restore gas supply to industries; and, take other remedial and compensatory measures to avoid closure of industrial units and loss of millions of jobs in the non-export-oriented industries for the working class of Pakistan, which lives paycheck to paycheck every month.

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