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ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has accused the petroleum ministry of ill-planning in dealing with gas crisis which has hit the domestic industry severely. In a letter to Minister for Energy, Hammad Azhar, President FPCCI, Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo has expressed serious annoyance on disruption in supply of indigenous gas to export industries of Karachi for the last 14 days since 11 June, 2021 with ZERO gas pressure which has crippled industries and halted export production that will ultimately lead to excessive delays in shipment.

He is of the view that despite of the fact that the Government has accorded priority in supply of gas to export sector, the export industries are deprived of gas. The supply of gas has been closed in the name of annual turnaround of Kunnar Pasaki field. Previously such disruption was caused due to ATA of Gambat field. If such ATA/maintenance is necessary, then it must be planned at least six months and intimated to all concerned promptly. Karachi contributes to around 60% in national exports. Due to the situation if 10% export is affected it means 5% decline in national export.

The FPCCI said that due to no gas, exporters fear shipment by Air or cancellation of orders. The losses caused to national exports on daily basis comes to around $ 44 million (Rs 7 billion) whereas, the export shipment of 40 feet container by sea to USA costs $ 8,400/- while the same shipment by air costs $ 93,000 which is equal to the total cost of said consignment of 40 feet container. In this manner, the export industries are facing colossal financial losses and shall be bankrupted leading to permanent closure and massive layoffs.

"We are surprised as to why SSGC has disrupted gas supply on account of annual turn around of Kunnar field on working days which must have been done during Eid Holidays when there is no industrial usage of gas," Maggo said, adding that FPCCI has failed to understand why such incidences happen repeatedly only in Karachi in every 3-4 months. Whether such attempts on part of the Government are deliberate to compel the industries of Karachi to shift abroad? Why should the export industries of Karachi may bear the brunt of the mismanagement caused due to ill-planning on part of the Ministry of Petroleum and SSGC?

The FPCCI has requested to take immediate notice of zero pressure of gas to export industries as well as general industries of Karachi and intervene to resume gas as quick as possible so that the industries and export must not suffer further. The Association has sought appointment for meeting on June 28, 2021 to the delegation of FPCCI on the burning issue of gas supply and oblige.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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