Karachi, July 13, 2023 – The Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) has expressed dismay over the suspension of gas supply to industries in Karachi, calling on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Minister of State for Energy Musadik Malik to address the issue.
In a statement, KCCI President Mohammed Tariq Yousuf highlighted the significant losses suffered by industries as a result of the two-day suspension of gas supplies every week, which has caused a 30 percent decline in production activities.
Yousuf emphasized the urgent need for the government to address the hardships faced by Karachi’s industrialists due to the unavailability of gas. He warned that if the situation continues, the country will struggle to overcome its economic crisis, particularly as industrial units, both general and export-oriented, are already underperforming. He added that the federal government must prioritize ensuring uninterrupted gas supply to industries to maintain its reputation and facilitate ease of doing business.
Yousuf highlighted the vital role played by Karachi as Pakistan’s textile and industrial hub, contributing 68 percent of revenue to the national exchequer and 54 percent to national exports. He expressed concern that the discriminatory actions and policies toward Karachi were not only causing severe production losses but also undermining the vision of the Prime Minister.
Pointing out that Sindh province produces 68 to 70 percent of the country’s gas, Yousuf criticized the fact that industries in Karachi, despite being a major contributor, were deprived of gas. He argued that this contradicted Article 158 of Pakistan’s constitution, which grants the province the first right to the gas produced within its boundaries.
Yousuf demanded that industries in Karachi be given priority in gas supply, considering their significant contributions to national exports, urban employment, tax generation, and subsidy provision. He suggested providing uninterrupted gas supply at adequate pressure to industries throughout the week, while domestic consumers could receive gas through alternative means such as cylinders or bousers. He also proposed charging the domestic sector the full gas price applicable to other sectors. He questioned the prioritization of residential consumers over industries, emphasizing the need to provide natural gas on economic considerations to remain competitive globally.
Yousuf expressed hope that the government, in line with its commitment to creating a favorable business environment and reviving the economy, would promptly address the issue of gas load shedding. Resolving this issue would enable production activities to resume and boost exports.