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KARACHI: Leadership of industrial community has strongly demanded immediate steps to restore gas supply to industries and take other remedial & compensatory measures to avoid closure of industrial units and loss of millions of jobs in the non-export oriented industries for the working class of Pakistan, which survives on monthly salary.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President FPCCI, has expressed his profound concern and disappointment on the government’s decision to suspend gas supply to non-export oriented industries; which will result in the losses of billions of rupees, to say the least.

He questioned the government that why no pre-emptive arrangements were made; while everyone in the government knew fully well that there will be huge gas shortage in the winter months? He regretted that only 10 cargoes of LNG are coming in December 2021 as compared to 12 in December 2020.

He said that the delayed tendering has proven to be extremely expensive and resulted in less than required offers and that too on a very high rate.

He added that only 886 MMCFD of LNG will be imported in December 2021 and only 950 MMCFD in January 2022, which is 27 percent less than the LNG imports in December 2020 and January 2021, respectively.

FPCCI President has observed that the responsibility and liability lies with the government for the criminal negligence for practicing delay and procrastination in issuing LNG cargoes once again. Had the tenders were issued in a planned, coordinated and timely manner, there would have been no shortage by now, he added.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo added that FPCCI has time and again raised this issue and still industries have to endure gas suspension several times in every single year. Had the government come to FPCCI for a consultative process on the issue, we would have provided them guidelines to successfully forfend the gas crisis in a win-win mechanism.

He has raised the question that why the government does not issue enough LNG import licenses to commercial importers to bridge the gap? Instead, it keeps mismanaging the gas supplies to the industries.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo has called for an immediate and direct intervention of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to save the industrial backbone of Pakistan.

He proposed that, though difficult, the PM should consider the option of spot tendering with the help of friendly countries. FPCCI extends its full support to PM for the resolution of the issue once and for all, he added.

President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Muhammad Idrees 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 normalise 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 Balochistan 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.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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