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KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Monday blamed Prime Minister Imran Khan for the continuing winter gas crisis in Sindh that is inflicting Rs41 billion manufacturing losses a day on the city’s industrial sector.

The KCCI also held Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister Ministry for Energy, Petroleum Division responsible for the prevailing gas shortage in Sindh, which it reckons, is also causing Rs20 billion export losses per day to the country from Karachi.

The KCCI also set an ultimatum of 72 hours for its protest in front of the SSGC office in the city, if gas supplies did not restore to industries.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan should take notice of the gas crisis,” that brought Karachi’s industrial units on the verge of a permanent closure, M. Zubair Motiwala, Chairman, Businessmen Group told a joint news conference at the KCCI.

The gas cuts to the city’s industrial units now have been for over 100 days during the winter season, he said adding that the key input shortage is causing troubles for the manufacturing sector to meet its international export commitments on time, besides paying off banks loans.

FPCCI questions govt’s lack of response to acute gas shortages

The city industrial units are operating on of gas supplies of 35 mmcfd, which he called “discriminatory” to Sindh’s manufacturing sector and demanded for a complete share of the natural utility that the very province produces. “We need 280 mmcfd for our industry,” he added.

Reducing gas supplies to the industries, he dubbed as “killing the dying”. He said that the KCCI made every effort to get the gas crisis solved but remained unsuccessful. Gas is short not only for the export sector but also residential and commercial users are faced with the crisis, he added

Karachi’s industrial need for gas stands 39 percent, Motiwala said that it can be filled through Sindh’s production share alone without burdening or exhausting other such resources.

Gas supply pressure is low to reach industries properly, he said adding that the input utility crisis brought the city’s manufacturing sector growth to stagnation that holds backs 20 millions job. He also called the federal government “non-serious” to heed upon Karachi-based exporters’ concerns on gas cuts.

“Whether you want to run Karachi’s industry,” he questioned, saying that the federal government has not been responding to the KCCI demand on gas supply for the last 70 days.

From 11:30 pm to 7:30 am, he said, gas is supplied to industries in Karachi, which makes it hard for exporters to complete international export orders. About 16 hours industrial units remain dysfunctional every day because of the gas unavailability, he added.

Vice Chairman BMG Jawed Bilwani, General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil, President KCCI Muhammad Idrees, Senior Vice President Abdul Rehman Naqi, Vice President Qazi Zahid Hussain along with Presidents of all industrial zones and other trade bodies attended the press conference.

President Site Association of Industry Abdul Rasheed, President Federal B. Area of Trade & Industry Haroon Shamsi, President Korangi Association of Trade & Industry Salman Aslam, Representative of Landhi Association of Trade & Industry Ajmal Afzal, President North Karachi Association of Trade & Industry Faisal Moiz, President Bin Qasim Association of Trade & Industry Elahi Buksh and President Site Superhighway Association of Industry Aamir Hassan Lari attended the presser.

From Value-Added Textile Associations, Zonal Chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) Abdul Rehman, Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Sheikh Shafiq Jhok Wala, Chairman Pakistan Knitwear & Sweaters Manufacturers & Exporters Association Kamran Chandna, Chairman Pakistan Cotton Fashion Apparel Manufacturers & Exporters Association Aitazaz Ahmed Japanwala, Chairman Towel Manufacturers Association Kashif Mehtab Chawla, Chairman Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association Asif Javed & Chairman Pakistan Denim Manufacturer & Exporters Association Asif Riaz Tata participated in the press conference.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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