Gas sup­ply sus­pen­sion causes clo­sure of 1300 in­dus­trial units: LCCI

The Pak Banker - - 2national -

LA­HORE: The La­hore Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try Mon­day urged the govern­ment to im­me­di­ately stop dis­crim­i­na­tion in gas sup­ply to Pun­jab in­dus­try as the sus­pen­sion of gas sup­ply had caused clo­sure of over 1300 in­dus­trial units, ren­der­ing thou­sands of work­ers un­em­ployed.

In a state­ment is­sued here, the LCCI Act­ing Pres­i­dent Sheikh Mo­ham­mad Arshad expressed the fear the in­dus­trial sec­tor would desta­bi­lize and un­em­ploy­ment would in­crease if the sit­u­a­tion re­mains the same.

He said that around 40 per cent of the in­dus­trial units in Pun­jab run on gas and gas sus­pen­sion means no pro­duc­tion by al­most half of the in­dus­try in Pun­jab and a loss of mil­lions of ru­pees to the ex­che­quer. Sheikh Mo­ham­mad Arshad said that the 'dis­crim­i­na­tory at­ti­tude' of the govern­ment was not only dent­ing its good­will and rep­u­ta­tion but had also put a ques­tion mark on its abil­ity to man­age and gov­ern things. He said that the units in Sindh were get­ting an al­most un­in­ter­rupted sup­ply ex­cept a two-to three-hour load­shed­ding.

Point­ing out that the gas sus­pen­sion plan a death knell for ex­port-based in­dus­try and pro­duc­tiv­ity, Sheikh Arshad sought the Prime Min­is­ter's in­ter­ven­tion and help for a reg­u­lar sup­ply of gas to the in­dus­try in Pun­jab.

How the in­dus­try would be able to man­age ex­port or­ders worth mil­lions of dol­lars when there is no gas? What about the thou­sands of daily wa­gers who have a sin­gle source of in­come? And above all, they added, how the govern­ment would con­vince both the lo­cal and for­eign in­vestors for in­vest­ment when it is un­able to man­age the sup­ply of gas to ex­ist­ing in­dus­trial units. He said that the de­ci­sion would send a very neg­a­tive sig­nal to the for­eign buy­ers. "In­stead of com­ing up with some sort of re­lief pack­age, the in­dus­try is be­ing pushed to the wall. The gas cur­tail­ment or dis­con­nec­tion is tan­ta­mount to throt­tling the in­dus­try to death."

He said that it seemed that some el­e­ments in the Gas depart­ment were hatch­ing con­spir­a­cies against the govern­ment to de­fame it.

He said that the busi­ness­men were un­able to un­der­stand that why the busi­ness com­mu­nity was not taken into con­fi­dence over in­dus­try-re­lated is­sues and if the SNGPL was fac­ing some sup­ply re­lated is­sues they must bring them to the no­tice of real stake­hold­ers well ahead of time. -App

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