President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Muhammad Idrees has said that KCCI fully supports general industries’ resistance against 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 export-oriented industries.
After listening to the hardships being faced by the owners of general industries who approached KCCI for assistance, President KCCI assured that the Karachi Chamber would request the Ministry of Energy to devise some kind of an effective mechanism that ensures provision of additional 10 percent 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, out of 180mmcfd gas which has erroneously been given to SNGPL, it would surely normalize things and resolve all the problems being faced by the business & industrial community due to unavailability of gas”, he said, adding that the shortage has been created because of more consumption in Baluchistan where the overall consumption has gone up to 200mmcfd from 40mmcfd.
He stressed that the load management program presented earlier by KCCI may be adopted in which voluntarily lesser gas usage by 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.
President KCCI reiterated that the Karachi Chamber fully supports the legitimate demand of uninterrupted gas supply to general industries because of the fact that closure of production activities of general industries would intensify the hardships not only for businesses and the economy but also for common man due to shortage of many essential items being produced by general industries and widely being supplied in the local markets all over 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.
He said that at this time of the year when the markets were bullish due to ongoing wedding season and the season ahead before Ramadan 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 normalize 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 KCCI’s demand to give back 100mmcfd gas to Karachi.