February 8, 2019: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Junaid Esmail Makda, while expressing dismay over the abrupt shutdown of gas supply to industries situated in various industrial zones in Karachi particularly Site Industrial Area, stated that gas supply has remained suspended to industries since last three consecutive days as the utility service provider has kept the pressure very low, which has resulted in terribly affecting the overall production and was causing severe losses of up to billions of rupees.
“Although the PM’s Advisor Razzak Dawood has pledged to achieve the export target US$40 billion but if the situation goes on like this with no gas supply and severe water shortages, we fear that the government will not be able to achieve this ambitious target”, he added in a statement issued.
Junaid Makda stated that it was a matter of grave concern that gas supply remains almost zilch since last three consecutive days but not a single decision maker neither from Islamabad nor from Sindh government have bothered to pay any attention to this serious issue. “Despite the assurances given by Governor Sindh to restore gas supply to industries, SSGC has once again issued a letter to all industrial associations in which they asked the industries to reduce the load of their captive power plants and operate at 50 percent below their normal consumption which is simply not possible as when there is hardly any gas available because of low pressure, how could they reduce their consumption to 50 percent”, he added.
“We, the business & industrial community of Karachi, are already suffering badly because of high cost of doing business therefore the suspension of gas in Karachi would not only prove detrimental for the industry but would also lead to worsening the economic crises, besides raising poverty and unemployment”, he opined.
Junaid Makda demanded from the Federal and Provincial Governments to take notice of the situation and order the SSGC to immediately restore gas supplies to industries otherwise, it will have a negative impact on all the economic indicators of the country, keeping in view the lead role being played by Karachi city in the overall economic development of the country. The Federal government must honor its commitment by issuing strict directives to SSGC for uninterrupted supply to industrial units in Karachi, he reiterated.
He was fairly optimistic that keeping in view the seriousness being exhibited by the present government towards resolving numerous issues and vowing to ensure Ease of Doing Business (EODB), the honorable Prime Minister Imran Khan would advise to relevant Ministry to look into this serious issue on priority and take steps to restore gas to industries at adequate gas pressure so that they could operate smoothly without any kind of trouble.