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KARACHI: Keeping in view the acute gas shortages being suffered by the industries of Karachi, BMG leadership, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and all Industrial Town Associations have fervently demanded that 100 percent gas, i.e., 110 mmcfd extracted from Ghotki must be given to SSGC so that the industrial activities could be normalized to some extent.

They also appealed Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh to take notice of the situation so that the industries of Sindh province, particularly Karachi city, could be saved from further disaster.

While referring to an announcement wherein it has been disclosed that initially 20 mmcfd of gas will be supplied to Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) from Sachal Gas Processing Complex (SGPC) located in district Ghotki which will be enhanced to 110 mmcfd during the current year, the leadership of Businessmen Group, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) and Presidents of all seven Industrial Town Associations of Karachi stated that the entire business community was agitated over this unjust move as it was purely against the Article 158 of Pakistan’s Constitution and is a highly imprudent action particularly in a situation when the industries of Karachi have been suffering dreadful gas shortages since last four months.

Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, President KCCI Muhammad Idrees, President Site Association of Industry Abdul Rasheed, President Korangi Association of Trade & Industry Salman Aslam, President Federal B Area Association of Trade & Industry Haroon Shamsi, President North Karachi Association of Trade & Industry Faisal Moiz, President Bin Qasim Association of Trade & Industry Ellahi Buksh, President Site Super Highway Association of Trade & Industry Aamir Hassan Lari and President Landhi Association of Trade & Industry Nisar Palla pointed out that the Article 158 of the Constitution states that “the province in which well-head of natural gas is situated shall have precedence over other parts of Pakistan in meeting the requirement from well-head, subject to the commitments and obligations as on the commencing day.”

Hence, in light of Article 158, we can confidently say that it is a gross mistake on part of Secretary Energy who, while representing Ministry of Energy, submitted before the Sindh High Court that the federal government did not need any permission from province of Sindh to take its natural gas which even the judges found surprising in view of Article 158 of the Constitution, they added.

They further commented that sheer violation of Article 158 was giving a clear message that Federal government wants to completely shut down Karachi industries forever by denying their right guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan. The gas being extracted from Ghotki belongs to the people of Sindh so the federal government has to comply with the Constitution and refrain from diverting gas to SNGPL without completely fulfilling SSGCL’s demand, they stressed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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