KARACHI: The business community has lambasted the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) for shutting down gas supply for 72 hours to the industrial sector.
Businessmen Group (BMG) chairman Zubair Motiwala in a statement on Friday asked the SSGC to immediately restore supply to industries as gas suspension would terribly affect production and it would become difficult to fulfil their commitments.
Mr Motiwala, who is also a former president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the SSGC, instead of resorting to gas suspension, must adopt load management and rationalisation policy.
He said any delay in arrival of imported RLNG (re-gasified liquefied natural gas) should not affect the industries in Karachi as they were being provided natural gas from indigenous resources in Sindh and Balochistan.
“It was highly unfair that gas produced in Sindh was not being provided to industries in Karachi,” he said.
The SSGCL has informed CNG stations about closure of gas supply from 8am on October 8 to 8am on October 11.
The company said that the availability of gas has decreased due to short supply and there was a possibility of low pressure in the SSGCL system.
President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Mian Nasser Hyatt Magoo said that the suspension of gas supply for industries in Sindh and Balochistan would bring many export-oriented industrial units to a halt and ensuing losses.
He said the industrial sector had to endure prolonged gas supply suspensions after every few months despite repeated assurances given to the business, industrial and trade community.
Mr Magoo warned the authorities that during winters there could be an unprecedented gas shortage and the country’s exports could be gravely impacted.
He urged the government to sit with the business community at the earliest and chalk out a plan to protect the export-oriented industries from inevitable gas shortages.
Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for Industries and Commerce Ikramullah Dharejo said that the closure of gas to non-export industries was a regrettable act. He said in a statement that Sindh supplied the most gas, but the province was being deprived of gas. The federal government was deliberately destroying Sindh’s industry with artificial load shedding, he added.
President of the Site Association of Industry Abdul Rasheed has expressed concern over supply of contaminated and poor quality water to industries.
In a letter to the managing director of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board with a copy to Sindh Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, he said the “supply of bad quality water results in huge losses to our member industries as production is stopped, production of chemicals go to waste and underground tanks need to be cleaned, apart from wastage of thousands of gallons of water”.
Mr Rasheed urged the Water Board chief to immediately start the supply of good quality water to the industries.
Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2021