Karachi, January 7,2019: Zahid Mazhar, Chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Sindh-Baluchistan Region has demanded from the government that the industry of the province of Sindh should not be deprived of their constitutional right in supply of natural gas under Article 158 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
He said that the province of Sindh is producing about 67 percent of system gas and consuming only 39 percent of the gas produced in the country, even then the industries of Sindh province are denied of their Constitutional Right guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan. He said that the gas being produced in Sindh should at first be supplied to the province and after fulfilling the requirement of Sindh, surplus gas should be passed on to the other provinces in line with Article 158 of Pakistan’s Constitution. He further said that the textile industry is not only facing the problem of weekly closure of Gas on every Sunday but also facing the problem of low Gas pressure. This is resulting in heavy production losses and de-industrialization.
He further said that the low gas pressure is disturbing the production-lines, delaying exports and causing damages to industry’s costly plants and equipments. He further said that the low gas pressure is equivalent to having no gas at all and it is a 360 degrees turn from the assurance given by the Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Imran Khan of continuous and uninterrupted supply of energy both gas and electricity specially to the export oriented industry like textiles which is earning more than sixty percent of the much needed foreign exchange through exports. It is also against the government policy of industrialization and export led growth, he added.
Zahid said that the gas supply suspension to the Sindh based industry that makes 52 percent of the country’s total exports is resulting in loss of foreign exchange and revenue. He said production of export oriented industries has shrunk since the export sector has been compelled to work only six-days in a week instead of functioning round the clock. In other countries governments give priority to their export oriented industry in supply of gas and energy, whereas domestic and commercial sectors are provided with LPG or LNG. On the contrary in Pakistan, our precious natural gas is being supplied to domestic and commercial sectors at the cost of industries. This has resulted in de-industrialization and decrease of manufacturing sector’s share in the GDP from about 22 percent to 19 percent in the last financial years.
He said urged the Federal and Provincial Governments to look into this issue on urgent basis and issue instructions to SSGCL to ensure continuous and uninterrupted gas supply to the industry of Sindh and Baluchistan in general and export oriented sector in particular, otherwise the industries would be compelled to close their operations which will create not only irreparable losses to the economy of Pakistan but would also create law & order situation due to unemployment of large number of workers employed in these industries.