Industrialists and exporters expressed concern about the current gas crisis and cautioned that, following a ban on the supply of gas for captive power generation by the general industry from 1 February and export-oriented sectors from 1 March, the industry would face severe difficulties.
“FPCCI President Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo said: “The decision of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) seems to have been taken on non-professional advice and without consultation of key stakeholders, i.e. businessmen and apex bodies.
In a separate statement, Feroze Alam Lari, Chairman of the Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan, said that despite value-added textile export orders to the exporters of the country, different issues emerging from time to time produced barriers to increasing textile sector exports.
“The export sector is already facing a shortage of cotton yarn in the domestic market due to a decrease in the production of cotton and the export of cotton yarn, the basic raw material for textiles,” he added.
Today, the last nail in the textile exporters’ coffin would be the lack of gas supply. The basic fuel for the manufacture and processing of textile products is coal. The shortage of gas and the scarcity of electricity would be the key barriers facing exporters, he warned.
President M Shariq Vohra of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry claimed that they would not allow K-Electric to sabotage the growth and development of Karachi and representatives of KCCI stressed that the government should not take such decisions that could lead to layoffs due to the closure of factories. “As an export-oriented industry association, we strongly believe that cutting the supply of gas to the domestic industry will cause a dent in the export supply chain,” Lari said.
The vision of the Prime Minister of 10 million jobs was focused on industrial expansion by the private sector as many employment opportunities could not be created by the public sector, the FPCCI chief said, adding that the decision to suspend the supply of gas would harm the vision of providing jobs and growing exports and industrialization.
FPCCI Senior Vice President Shahzeb Akram said exports and jobs will be affected by suspending the supply of natural gas to industries. The business community is ready to speak to the government about this issue. In the past 15 days, many industrial units have been closed, especially ceramic units.
“On the one hand, the government provides the construction industry with amnesty to boost economic activities and, on the other hand, creates obstacles for the construction sector and allied industries,” he lamented.