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SSGC stops gas supply to industries

he apparel sector has alleged that Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has stopped gas supply to industries on Saturday, a statement said on Saturday.

A joint statement of several chairmen of the value-added textile sector, M Jawed Bilwani, chief coordinator, PHMA and chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum; Abdul Rauf Patel, chairman, PHMA SZ, M Kamran Chandna, Rafiq Godil, Khwaja M Usman, Atiq Kochra, M Naqi Bari, said that the closure of gas would lead to disastrous results for the national economy.

Due to sudden stoppage of gas the entire value-added textile industries came to a standstill, they said.

“The value-added textile sector is already over burdened with rising costs of doing business, which includes exorbitant rates of gas, electricity and water, high rates of export refinance, in numerous federal and provincial taxes and duties, high cost of labour, very poor and weak infrastructure, etc, making it impossible to compete the neighbouring countries,” according to the statement

Imposition of Rs100 cess per MMBTU on the industries in the Finance Bill 2012 had already crippled the industries.

They said that this step of SSGC would prove disastrous for the industries leading to utmost frustration and closures and further damage to the already deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi.

Meanwhile, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has expressed concern over stoppage of gas to industries by Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) in the name of low pressure, a statement said on Saturday.

Terming the move of SSGC unilateral, Mian Abrar Ahmad, president of the KCCI, said that the chamber takes a very exception of this arrogant and unilateral move by SSGC by abruptly stopping gas to industry without any consultation with the stakeholders.

Lame excuse of low pressure by SSGC is wrong and unacceptable, he said, adding that the officials of SSGC were repeatedly contacted but they are not replying and not picking up the phones.

The KCCI president said that in the next four days the industry is supposed to operate to cater to the domestic needs and to meet the export targets.

He lamented that particularly the process industry would be badly affected due to stoppage of gas and production of textiles, eatable items and fast moving consumer goods would be seriously hampered if the gas is not restored immediately.

This stoppage will lead to disturbance in the demand and supply chain and would upset the distribution of products in the local market and upcountry destinations, he said.

Scarcity of products in the market may also lead to increase in rates of products and black marketing.

He strongly condemned the arrogant attitude of SSGC and criticised such deplorable action by the government. Despite ample reserves and gas availability in the province, such move of gas curtailment / stoppage is highly deplorable as the industries in all the seven industrial zones would suffer, said Abrar.

Such negative moves and decisions also harm the economy of Sindh, which contributes around 68 percent revenue in terms of taxes and demanded to consult the business community.

He warned that the situation arising out of gas outages will lead to colossal collapse in commitment to export orders, flight of capital, huge labour layoffs and worsening law and order situation in Karachi and decline in the revenue of the government.

Abrar said, on the one hand, the government is contemplating to increase targets for nominal growth and, on the other, its harsh decisions of gas and power outages and increased utility tariffs are posing severe threats for achieving the target.

At present, the country is going through a very serious economic crisis in terms of escalating cost of production / manufacturing based on continuous rise in the utilities, he said.

The KCCI will not accept gas outages to its affiliated seven industrial zones and industries thereof along with the CNG filling stations in Karachi, he said, adding that the chamber will not be able to stop the ensuing agitation arising out due to stoppage of production in the industries owing to gas outage.

The government must take the stakeholders into the loop and stop the one-sided iron handed policies and decisions, he added.

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