Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Mian Abrar Ahmad has expressed concern over suspension of gas supply to industries on the ground of low pressure.
Terming the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC)’s move unilateral and arrogant, Ahmad in a press statement said the industry was not consulted before stopping gas supply, which is vital for running the manufacturing units.
“The excuse of low pressure given by the SSGC is wrong and unacceptable,” he said, adding the gas utility’s officials were repeatedly contacted, but they did not reply and pick up phones.
Over the next four days, which are public holidays, the industry had planned to continue operations to cater to domestic demand and meet export target. However, according to Ahmad, the suspension of gas supply would badly affect the processing industry, hampering production of textile, edible items and fast moving consumer goods.
“This suspension will disturb the demand and supply chain and upset the distribution of products in local markets, particularly upcountry destinations.”
Meanwhile, the SSGC announced that gas supply to compressed natural gas (CNG) stations was restored at 3pm on Saturday instead of the usual full-day suspension.
Ahmad warned that the situation arising out of gas outages would lead to exporters missing orders, capital flight, labour lay-off, worsening of law and order in Karachi and decline in government’s revenue.
On the one hand, the government was contemplating to increase growth targets while on the other its harsh decisions on gas and power outages and high utility tariffs were posing a severe threat to meeting the targets, he said.
He asked the government to take the stakeholders into the loop and stop unilateral policies and decisions.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.