KARACHI: The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has said that it fully supports general industries’ resistance against the suspension of gas supplies, as it would not only affect their own production but would also have a severe impact on the export-oriented industries, as well because both were linked with each other and it was these general industries, which provide raw material to the export-oriented industries.
After listening to the hardships being faced by the owners of general industries who approached the KCCI for assistance, KCCI president Muhammad Idrees assured that the chamber would request the Ministry of Energy to devise some kind of an effective mechanism that ensures provision of additional 10 per cent gas to industries in Karachi from Sindh’s indigenous gas resources, which would certainly result in smooth functioning of general, as well as export-oriented industries throughout the winter season.
“We feel that if only 100mmcf of additional gas is given back to Karachi, of the 180mmcfd gas, which has erroneously been given to the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), it would surely normalise things and resolve all the problems being faced by the business and industrial community due to unavailability of gas,” he said, adding that the shortage has been created because of more consumption in Balochistan where the overall consumption has gone up to 200mmcfd from 40mmcfd.
He stressed that the load management programme presented earlier by the KCCI may be adopted in which voluntarily lesser gas usage by the captive power plants of industries, which already have KE connections has been proposed, while those without KE connections, should be provided gas at required pressure and quantum.
The KCCI president reiterated that the Karachi Chamber fully supports the legitimate demand of uninterrupted gas supply to general industries because of the fact that the closure of production activities of general industries would intensify the hardships not only for the businesses and the economy but also for the common man due to shortage of many essential items being produced by the general industries and widely being supplied in the local markets across Pakistan.
“The government must look into the possibility of giving back 100mmcfd gas from Sindh’s natural gas resources to industries in Karachi, which, if done, will make everything alright as both, the export-oriented and general industries, will stay operational without any problem,” he added.
At this time of the year when the markets were bullish due to the ongoing wedding season and the season ahead before Ramazan, which was also in the offing, the gas supply to all industries has to be ensured without any interruption throughout the next four months so that the businesses could stay afloat.
“Businesses have just come out of Covid crises and were trying hard to normalise and recover; hence, any closure at this crucial juncture will only bring in bankruptcies and massive unemployment,” he cautioned and added that the government must consider the KCCI’s demand to give back 100mmcfd gas to Karachi.
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