KARACHI: The leaders of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said it was a matter of grave concerns that the quantum of gas, which is explored from Sindh, was not being provided to the industries of Karachi.
Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) & Former President KCCI Zubair Motiwala and President KCCI M. Shariq Vohra have appealed Prime Minister Imran Khan, Federal Minister of Energy Omar Ayub Khan and PM’s Special Assistant Nadeem Babar to ensure that the commitments made to the business community for uninterrupted gas to industries on 24/7 basis were being fulfilled in letter and spirit.
They stressed that all the rumours or talks about gas crises for the month of January prove to be the other way around and the government must give an assurance in this regard which would be welcomed by the business and industrial community
While referring to a statement given by PM’s Special Assistant on Petroleum Nadeem Babar at a news conference in which the Sindh government was criticized for giving a misleading figure of around 2,500-2,600MMCFD (million cubic feet a day) gas production in Sindh while as per June data, the province was producing 2025MMCFD gas, the leaders said the industries in Karachi are totally confused over it.
Chairman said, “We, after long debates, had an agreement with the Energy Ministry in which we agreed to increase gas tariff from Rs 786 to Rs 930 per MMBTU as the differential of RLNG and indigenous gas but this agreement was reached when it was committed by the government that gas would be provided to industries at optimum pressure and there will be no holidays.”
“And now, the announcement has come that they have suspended gas supply to captive power plants which we fail to understand as the zero-rated sectors agreed to pay the entire difference whether that of general industry or textile sector and in spite of all this, the industries are not functional”, he said, adding that since last 15 days when they (the government) claimed that they were supplying more than 200mmcfd of RLNG, the shortage persisted.
He said, “We fully agitate the announcement of the Advisor that from January 2021, the induction of RLNG to Karachi would be 50 mmcf instead of 200 mmcf and the reason given is that Fauji Fertilizer is going on turnaround which will save 60 mmcf and KE would also be reduced to 70 mmcf.” “Our question is that we have agreed to pay for our smooth production, who would be responsible for the loss of production, who would be responsible for unemployment, and who would be responsible for creating a situation in which we are unable to meet the commitments made to buyers”, he asked.
Chairman BMG said that the business community sat with the government, agreed on certain parameters and also agreed to pay the penalty of the same and then if the commitments were not being fulfilled again and the industry suffers on the same grounds, it is rather surprising and very disturbing for the entire industry.
President KCCI Shariq Vohra pointed out that the entire zero-rated sector was questioning the increase in tariff from Rs786 to Rs930 per mmbtu as they were not getting the gas and they were of the opinion that if the agreement was not being abided by the government side, is it necessary that the industrialists also continue to abide it.
“At least, they (the industrialists) should be compensated in terms of time which were wasted due to unavailability of gas and those days when the gas was not available that percentage should be compensated”, he added.