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KARACHI: Johar Qandhari, President of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), has vehemently opposed the proposed hike in gas prices for industrial consumers.

Speaking out against the measure, Qandhari urged the government and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to reconsider the matter, realising the burdens faced by industrialists.

Addressing concerns during an OGRA hearing, KATI highlighted the challenges encountered by industrialists in subsidising domestic consumers, citing issues such as line losses, theft, and Unaccounted-for Gas (UFG).

Qandhari underscored the necessity for practical solutions to prevent industrialists from facing bankruptcy.

However, Rehan Javed, Chairman of KATI's standing committee, formally submitted objections during the OGRA session.

Qandhari stressed the impracticality of industrialists subsidising gas for domestic consumers under the current tariff structure.

He advocated for a reduction in gas prices to Rs 500 per mmbtu, aiming to alleviate financial strain on the industry. Furthermore, he urged OGRA to ensure that domestic tariffs remain above the determined average price to prevent losses, suggesting direct subsidies for low-income consumers through programs like the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) to alleviate pressure on the industrial sector.

Rejecting any gas blending favouring the domestic sector over industry,

Qandhari urged the government to swiftly lower tariffs for industrial consumers, safeguarding both the industry's financial stability and its workforce's employment security.

As the debate continues, stakeholders await further developments regarding gas tariffs and industrial relief measures.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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