Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gas supply cut led to closer of 600 industrial units

Gas supply cut led to closer of 600 industrial units

FAISALABAD  (January 08, 2011) : More than 600 Industrial Units including Textile Processing, Printing, Sizing, Dyeing, Finishing, Chemicals and Washing Soap manufacturing industries have been closed for next 84 hours here on Friday morning at 06:00 AM, due to suspension of gas supply by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL).

More than 380 CNG stations have also been closed for two days, while 100,000 powerlooms remained closed on third consecutive week, because sizing industry not in position to supply sized yarn to the Powerlooms Industry on regular basis. Furthermore, 10 to 12 hour load-shedding of electricity in industrial areas adding fuel to fire, while 400,000 workers most of them daily wagers are facing severe problems, who have no alternative livelihood.
Residents in different parts of the industrial city were remained complained about the low gas pressure affecting cooking and other domestic chores. The affected peoples strongly demanded immediate restore of gas supply of the city areas, where routine life of every home affecting due to non-availability of gas. In a press statement, Salamat Ali, Chairman, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) North Zone said that the gas suspension plan would have a very negative impact on entire Industrial sector that was already passing through very challenging times due to acute shortage of electricity and bad law and order situation.

Salamat Ali lamented over the high handedness of the SNGPL officials violating the PM directive and announcements in media. The present gas shedding schedule would push the export oriented and labour intensive value added textile industry towards total collapse, he added.

All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) has rejected the four days gas-shedding schedule announced by SNGPL and termed it detrimental to the National Economy and Exports. Commenting over the prevailing situation, Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, Regional Chairman APTPMA said that the textile sector was one of the major employment-generating sector in the country, while it was also earning more than 60 percent of the foreign exchange.

He lamented that despite of importance of this value-added sector, the government was subjecting it to victimisation, which would not only foment large-scale un-employment but also deprive it from precious and direly needed foreign exchange.

He said that during last meeting of the APTPMA Office-Bearers with Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, it was decided that that the gas will be supplied continuously to the Textile Processing Industry and only two days in a week will be closure of the gas for value-addition Industry in Faisalabad and other centres of the Punjab but the SGNPL authorities have again flouted the order of Prime Minister for the 3rd time after this meeting in which Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Naveed Qamar, Minister for Water and Power, Raja Muhammad Ashraf and Federal Textile Minister, Rana Farooq Saeed had participated.

He said that on our pressing demand that the government should follow equilibrium in distribution of gas to industrial units of the country and that the fertiliser factories should also be brought under this gas suspension programme, the government has now decided to suspend the gas supply to 4 fertiliser factories w.e.f. 7th January for a period of 15 days but it would not make any impact to improve the supply of gas to Textile Processing Industry, as this vital sector of the economy would be clamped with gas shedding for 4 continuous days from 7th January 2011.

Mian Ajmal Farooq, Vice Chairman, Khurrianwala Industrial Estate Association disclosed that over 565 big Textile Industrial Units and value-added sector would severely be hit by 4 days gas suspension in a week. This unwise step of the government would not only render thousands of workers and daily-wagers jobless but would also inflict a colossal financial loss to the textile sector and its ancillary industries and badly hit the country's exports as well.

He appealed to Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani to intervene in this crucial plight and order the SNGPL to suspend its latest schedule for gas closure Khuwaja Shahid Razzaq Sikka, President, Mehmood Alam Jatt, Secretary, Anjuman-e-Tajran and other Trade organisations have expressed concern over the load-shedding of electricity & gas and termed all the statements of the Federal Government pertaining to ending energy shortage for textile industry as rhetoric.

Abdul Haq, Chairman, and Muhammad Akram Ghouri, Vice Chairman, All Pakistan Cotton Powerlooms Association (APCPA) also expressed grave concern over the load-shedding of electricity & gas and demanded to the government to save the industry and exports in the best interest of the country.

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