KARACHI: Hundreds of demonstrators on Wednesday gathered outside the head office of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to demand immediate restoration of gas supply to industry.
The demonstrators included the leadership of Businessmen Group and Karachi Chamber along with Presidents/ Representatives of All Industrial Town Associations and sector-specific trade associations.
They warned that this campaign to demand immediate restoration of gas supply at all the industrial zones would continue and may intensify further with each passing day until gas supply to all the industrial units is fully restored and normalized.
Accompanied by prominent business figures, Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, Vice Chairman BMG Jawed Bilwani and President KCCI Muhammad Idrees expressed deep concerns over government’s inattentive attitude towards resolving the most pressing issue being suffered by the business and industrial community of Karachi where the industrialists were suffering huge losses due to no gas or low pressure.
The industrialists of Karachi were totally stunned and disappointed to see government’s sheer negligence in response to press releases, appeals and also a recent press conference over looming gas/ RLNG crises being suffered since last more than 100 days.
They said that losses of up to Rs45 billion were being suffered each day due to unavailability of gas to Karachi, which despite facing so many challenges at almost all the fronts, continues to contribute more than 68 percent revenue to the national exchequer, 54 percent to national exports while 52 percent of textile exports also take place from Karachi.
While referring to erroneous allocation of 211 mmcfd gas from Sindh’s resources to SNGPL, BMG and KCCI Leadership demanded that in order to revive the industrial activities in Karachi, Sindh’s gas has to be returned to the province as it was highly unfair to keep the industries of Karachi deprived of Sindh’s own gas resources.
They said that the rising demand for gas in Baluchistan during winter season was being fulfilled by SSGCL alone which receives 125mmcfd gas from Sui whereas SNGPL, which takes away 180mmcfd from Sui, stands completely spared from sharing the burden of rising gas demand in Baluchistan which was beyond anyone’s understanding.
They stressed that the rising demand for gas in Baluchistan has to be meted out by SSGCL and SNGPL as per ratio of gas being received by them which means that the extra demand of 160mmcfd in Baluchistan during winter should be rationally divided with 41 percent (65mmcfd) burden on SSGCL and the remaining 59 percent (95mmcfd) must be borne by SNGPL.
They were of the opinion that gas has to be supplied without any differentiation to all the industries including General, SMEs and export-oriented industries as they all go hand-in-hand. The government has to realize that the general industries were an integral part of the value chain for exports which drive the economy.
In the national interest, BMG and KCCI Leadership appealed Prime Minister Imran Khan to take immediate cognizance of the situation and urgently respond to the Constitutional Right of the business community of Karachi to save the investment of industrialists and protect the soft and positive image of Pakistan globally, otherwise, if such alarming situation prevails, the country may face unrest and uncertainty due to closure of industries in Karachi, massive layoffs and drastic decline in the national exchequer further leading to chaos.