Published On: Tue, Dec 31st, 2013
Published in Category: Karachi

Gas shortage: Industrialists threaten closure of SITE industrial area

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KARACHI: SITE association against closure of gas supply to Pakistans largest industrial area SITE has threatened rather to stage sit-in in front of Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGPL) office or to make five hundred thousand workers unemployed by locking industries as protest.

Office-bearers of SITE association has convened associations general body meeting to finally decide about course of action from available options and the future strategy would be announced till Thursday.

Chairman SITE association of Trade & Industry, Younas M Bashir told on Monday that if SITE organizations decide to lock industries then 500,000 workers would become unemployed and totally 2.5 million people would suffer.

He maintained that SSGPL is providing 20 to 25 mmcfd less gas than industry demand as SITE industries need 70 mmcdf gas daily but SSGPL is providing only 45 to 50 mmcdf and this affects industrial progress five days in a week, he added.

This has created chaos as industries work only 12 days in a month and industrial activities have become zero in other days of month due to shortage of gas, Chairman SITE told.

Bashir disclosed that there are seven industrial zones in the port city but complain about shortage of gas is only in this (SITE) area while SITE shares 20 to 25 percent in GDP.

Younas M Bashir added that only two options would be reviewed in general body meeting rather to lock industries that will cause massive unemployment or to stage protest in front of SSGPL office in order to gain gas according to approved quota of industry. The chairman warned that if SITE industries were shutdown than raw material to other industries across Pakistan will not be available also and this will impact negatively everywhere so this issue should take seriously, he cautioned.

He disclosed that if gas crisis continues than Pakistan will not get benefit from GSP Plus status granted by European Union while industries were set target to double countrys exports in three years after GSP plus status.

We were being stopped to achieve the set target by closure of gas and that seems to be a well-thought conspiracy against the country, Chairman SITE noted.

To a question, Bashir said that talks have been held many times with SSGPL in this regard but enough is enough whether industries should be run or closed.

He urged President Mamnoon Hussain to play role and find an effective solution of the issue.

On the other hand, sources said that SSGPL requested industrial sector to reduce use of gas up to 30 percent otherwise domestic users can suffer.

It is pertinent to mention that Sindh has 72 percent share in production of natural gas so there should be neither shortage of gas in province nor load-shedding.
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