LAHORE: The Sui Northern Gas Pipe Line (SNGPL) has failed to restore supply of gas to industry even for two days a week, neglecting its own commitment to the manufacturers, as entire industry is without gas even after more than three weeks have passed.
Industry representatives on Tuesday criticised the government for failing to restore supply of gas to the industry and urged it to fulfil its commitment as both trade and industry were in shamble due to suspension of gas. They said that on January 7th, a commitment was made with the industrialists, trade leaders and presidents of all chambers in the province that two-day gas supply to industry in Punjab would be restored on January 11 but it is very unfortunate on the part of the government that it could not fulfil its commitment.
And today is the 23rd day that the entire Punjab industry is without gas causing a loss of around Rs100 billion and putting at stake the jobs of 15 million people who are attached with the industry directly or indirectly. They said that who is responsible for the 4 million daily wagers who are attached with industry in Punjab.If the authorities knew that they would not be able to restore gas, they should have at least taken their own people into confidence.
They said that now the business community was left with no other option but to evolve future strategy with the consultation of all the stakeholders including all the chambers in Punjab. They said that the continuous gas suspension has already marred industrial activity in the province, rendering thousands of industrial workers jobless and if the situation remains the same for the time to come, the economy would suffer irreversible loss.The LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the imminent industrial closures and massive lay offs would not only create trouble for the economy but would also hit the government reputation hard that is already facing challenges on various fronts.
He said that uncertainty is the most lethal thing for any business and the present regime is constantly keeping the entire business community into darkness about the real gas supply-demand situation.He said that only because of bad governance the country’s exports have decline by 11 per cent in the month of December and would likely to suffer new lows if no heed was paid to solve the ongoing energy crisis.
“How the trade and industry would be able to pay the mark-up and other liabilities when there would be no productions. Only last year the industry was given gas for 200 days while it had paid mark-up of 365 days.”He said that two different formulas are being applied in Pakistan. As in SNGPL there is a total gas suspension to the industry for the last 15 days and for CNG sector it is two and half days only while in SSGC the gas loadshedding for the industry is only for one day. “It seemed that the government was planning to destroy the entire industrial sector in Punjab and wants to make this country a trading place instead of a manufacturing hub.” – Nation