KARACHI: Trade and industry leaders of Pakistan’s economic nerve centre have warned that zero gas supplies for four months will lead to a sharp contraction in exports, cripple revenue collection, closure of units and render a large number of workers jobless.

While rejecting Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd’s notice of supply suspension from Nov 15 to Feb 28, the committee of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and seven industrial associations on Saturday said the federal government was asked to take appropriate measures in advance to ensure gas supply to industries instead of complete suspension in winter.

The committee was formed by the federal government to address gas-related issues.

The committee had proposed to the federal government a two-day weekly gas closure and 12-hour daily outage on a rotation basis so that industrial production could continue.

Discussions were also held to close half of the Captive Power Plants (CPPs). However, it was proposed that the industries having proper electricity supply from K-Electric will keep their CPPs closed in winter given the severe shortages in winter.

It was also discussed that gas must be ensured for operating the industrial boilers. Besides, other measures of energy conversations should also be adopted.

The committee leaders said the SSGCL’s gas closure notice issued was in utter contrast as it did not mention how the utility will supply gas in winter to export-oriented industries, which is a priority sector.

They appealed to the prime minister and the Sindh chief minister to immediately intervene in this matter and save the industries from closure, said a joint press release.

The gas closures cannot prove good for the economy, especially this year, as no special arrangements have been made by the government to purchase RLNG to inject into the system.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2022

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