LAHORE: The Pakistan Industrial & Traders Associations Front (PIAF) on Tuesday rejected the SNGPL three month gas closure plan and said it would prove last nail in the coffin as a total shutdown would be imminent after the move that would be putting the jobs of over 15 million people and exports of around $14 billion at stake.
“Government would have to reset its priorities regarding provision of gas otherwise situation would go out of hands”, PIAF Acing Chairman Khamis Saeed Butt and Vice Chairman Amjad Ali Jawa said in a statement issued here on Tuesday.
They said the new gas load management plan was a well-calculated and well thought-out conspiracy against the present regime who was striving hard for the wellbeing of the business community.
“The rise in number of unemployed would definitely give air to anti-government sentiments and this single step would throw millions of industrial workers out of jobs.”
“It is not the industry only that would be suffering massively but the government would also be an ultimate loser on many counts”, they said.
They urged the government to immediately shelve the proposed ‘Industry Closure Plan’ to avert industrial closures and resultant massive lay off.
The PIAF office-bearers said that around 40 percent of the industrial units in Punjab run on gas and gas suspension means no production by almost half of the industry and a loss of millions of rupees to the exchequer.
This decision has sent a very negative signal to the foreign buyers. “Instead of coming up with some sort of relief package, the industry is being pushed to the wall”.
They said that to run the industry on alternative fuel, including diesel and furnace oil is not a viable proposition.
“SNGPL will have to reset its priorities regarding provision of gas otherwise the situation would go out of hands. Rise in the number of unemployed persons would definitely give air to negative sentiments. How can the industry afford to pay such high mark-up when there is no gas for the sector?” they argued.
On the other hand, they said, units in Sindh are getting almost uninterrupted supply except two-to-three-hour load shedding,” he added and stressed the need for early completion of Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project in the larger interest of trade, industry and economy of the country.