Business community dismays over SNGPL plan for industrial units and CNG – Mahfooz Elahi

  • October 28, 2010
Mr. Mahfooz Elahi President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that business community has totally rejected the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) plan to suspend gas supply to industrial units and CNG for consecutive 3 days in a week, which would cause further economic damage and stop the wheel of industries in the country and urged the authorities to cancel the plan for the sake of economy that was already facing multiple challenges.

In a statement, ICCI President Mr.Mahfooz Elahi said that as per report from State Bank the inflation rate is more than 18% and development rate is only 2% in the country, which is not sufficient. He said in the current situation, such suspension of gas supply will adversely affect the economy of the country. He said industry in Punjab was already in dire strait and it would not only adversely affect business activities but it also give a new force to the already surging inflation and unemployment in the country.

He said that there already exists stay orders in courts against gas load shedding and central government should contact Supreme Court for suspension of these stay orders and develop equality in load shedding for all provinces. He requested that Supreme Court should deal with pending cases regarding gas on priority basis to bring the gas in system immediately He pointed out the OGDCL operated fields in Kunnar, Pasaki, Tando Allah Yar and Sinjhoro, which are capable of providing 350 million square cubic feet per day, are not producing gas for the last 7 to 8 years  due to litigation issues He added Qadarpur being the third largest gas production field of the country,  currently has 46 wells out of which 16 are not operational due to unavailability of compression plants. He demanded that keeping in views the shortage of gas, government should stop gas connection that being made under political basis and government should install the compression plants in Qadirpur field without any further delay.

Mr.Mahfooz Elahi said that in foreign countries the government makes all its best efforts to avoid loss of the industries and provide all facilities to run the industries successfully, but in our country this practice is quite different. He said steel industries have already not at full potential due to short supply of gas.

He said that OGRA was formed to control the prices of gas but it seems that decisions are without talking stakeholders into confidence and prices of petroleum products are increased without consultation.

Mr.Mahfooz Elahi said that government should adopt proactive approach instead of focusing on short terms solutions must develop long term and sustainable plans to ensure consistent supply of gas for industrial sector. He further said that still government could not announce and implement a viable solution to overcome energy crises.

ICCI President urged the government to adopt alternative sources of energy and speed up Pak-Iran gas pipeline project for its early compliance to overcome energy crises. He said that Pakistan exports mostly depend on textile and due to outage of gas supply, country’s export will not grow as targeted. He emphasized that government should ensure supply of gas to industries to avoid troubles in the production process.