KARACHI: Anticipating a harsher winter season due to aftereffects of climate change, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has asked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take concrete steps before the gas crisis worsens due to higher seasonal demand amid supply shortfalls.

The KCCI in a letter sent on Sept 29, requested the prime minister to call an emergency meeting of industrialists and exporters to chalk out an extraordinary plan of action for dealing with the anticipated gas crisis.

Unfortunately, the chamber regretted that no measures had so far been taken by the government to avert the looming crisis.

The chamber asked Mr Shehbaz to instruct the Ministry of Energy to notify the precise date and time for the said meeting so that it could ensure proper representation of relevant stakeholders and experts.

KCCI feared that keeping in view the disastrous situation witnessed last year and if this pressing problem is not given due attention this year, the industries would be compelled to either completely shut down their units and move somewhere else or limit their production according to gas supply, causing serious repercussions on the overall economy as well as the exports.

During the last winter, the KCCI said, captive power plants of general industries were compelled to shut down to manage gas supply shortfall and these CPPs are still not being allowed to operate as the relevant departments are reluctant to allow these industries to resume electricity generation through CPPs.

“The gas exploration and production companies are also complaining of rising receivables which exceed $321 million in addition to huge receivables of $2bn equivalent to around Rs460bn. With such exorbitant receivables, the E&P companies were not even in a position to carry out maintenance of wells therefore they curtailed gas production which was one of the key reasons for gas shortages being suffered by the country, the KCCI observed.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2022

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