Gas shutoff: APTMA ‘disappointed’ at SNGPL’s priorities

‘Shortage could be overcome easily through LNG import from Qatar’.


Express December 31, 2011

LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has asked the government to quickly implement alternate measures to overcome the gas crises which has all but closed a billion dollar textile industry. They withdrew their threat to stage public protests.

In a press briefing, the chairman of Aptma, Gohar Ijaz, in a disappointed and frustrated tone blamed the government of not taking appropriate alternate measures to overcome the long expected gas crises in the country. Ijaz said that the country had only 800 Mmcft of gas shortage, which could be easily overcome through LNG import from Qatar, or through the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. “The process would take a maximum of one year, but I don’t know why government is delaying this very important project, and pushing the nation in to such a deep crises,” he said.

He said that the CNG industry had a share of only Rs42 billion annually, whereas the textile mills after fulfilling national requirements had $1 billion worth of exports. “80 per cent of the industry is in Punjab and around 10 million workers depend on this industry which is not the priority of the government,” Ijaz said, before making a swipe at the ruling government, “Government should tell us what should we do in such scenario, it is unable to run its state owned corporations like PIA, railways and if this industry would be closed then how government would manage to provide then jobs?”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2012.

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