The new threat of gas load shedding will cripple the industry and have extreme consequences to the economy – Mahfooz Elahi

  • December 21, 2010
Industries in Islamabad are in dire straits due to closure of gas for 6-days a week, from Monday through Saturday, as per the revised load management schedule issued by SNGPL, Islamabad.

In case of closure of these industries, a worsened law and order situation will emerge due to unemployment of a large number of labor force in the industries and give further rise to inflation as a result of increased costs of production of commodities before arriving in the markets for sale; something the government needs to address with extreme urgency said Mahfooz Elahi, President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry while addressing a delegation of industrialists at ICCI.
The President said that load shedding of gas for up to 6-days a week in the industries will come with extreme consequences to the economy and also criticized that government had adopted a discriminatory policy for the federal capital industries, as supply of gas to Punjab had been halted for only two-days a week, whereas the near adjoining areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh were enjoying nearly un-interrupted supply of gas.
The industries of steel, soap, chemicals and ghee mills are badly affected by this action of SNGPL and industrialists are facing great problems in maintaining production cycles. He said that due to stoppage of gas, steel industries are unable to produce required steel which will result in complete halt to construction activities.
Mahfooz Elahi said that on average, around 100-200 labor force work in an industry, but under the current situation of load management plan announced by the SNGPL/government, a majority of daily wage workers are left with no work, resulting in them not even earning enough money to even feed their families with one meal a day. Under the prevailing conditions, industries are even forced to lay off their permanent staff and labour to keep their costs at a minimum, and despite such drastic measures, the industries are still not able to meet their costs and some are being forced to run their operations in losses.

He demanded that decision of load shedding for 6-days a week should be taken back immediately and like Punjab, gas should be supplied to the industries of the Federal Capital for at least 5-days. He said that as natural consequence of long gas load shedding, industrials and labor force would be completed to come on roads to protest.

Mahfooz Elahi said that as if the existent threats of Electric Load Shedding, High Mark-Up rates, High Inflation rates, and the ever deteriorating law and order situation were not enough for the industry, which was barely surviving given the circumstances; this new threat of Gas Load Shedding will cripple the industry altogether unless immediate action is taken by the government to resolve this very critical issue.