ICCI slams govt decision to close gas for industries

ISLAMABAD, NOV 29 (DNA) – Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has shown great concerns over the decision of the government to close gas for industries in Islamabad and Punjab during winter season as it will cause more difficulties for industry and push the fragile economy into further problems.

Muhammad Shakeel Munir, Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the industry was already passing through a tough phase due to loadshedding and other factors and in these circumstances closing gas to industries in the winter will bring manufacturing activities to a grind halt and badly affect exports of the country, therefore, government should revisit its decision to save the economy from harmful consequences of this decision.

He said government should take all stakeholders including business leaders on board and develop an integrated energy plan to cope with this serious issue including import of LNG from Qatar. He said government should also take all possible measures for the materialization of Iran-Pakistan (IP) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) projects, which are in pipeline since long.

He was speaking at a dinner hosted by Ch. Muhammad Masood, Director Islamabad Stock Exchange and CEO of Chenab Associates in honor of ICCI office bearers. M. Ashfaq Chatha Vice President ICCI, Abdul Rauf Chairman Founder Group, Munawar Mughal Vice President FPCCI, former Presidents ICCI including Khalid Javed, Tariq Sadiq, Mian Akram Farid, Zubair Ahmed Malik, Khalid Iqbal Malik, Zafar Bakhtawari and many others attended the dinner.

Munawar Mughal, Vice President, FPCCI said that natural gas shortage in the country goes up to 50 percent in winter and 30 percent in summer while the gas supply and demand gap was likely to grow further in coming days.

He stressed that government should exploit all affordable options to meet the rising demand of gas and give preference to industry in gas supply as the survival and growth of our economy depends on the better growth of business and industry.

Abdul Rauf, Chairman ICCI Founder Group said that the gas crisis continues to cripple the economy as it causes a negative impact on the growth of business & industrial activities and government should utilize all available resources and avenues to overcome this crisis.

He said though load management of gas was necessary during crisis situation, however, government should work on war footing basis to find out a durable solution of this grave problem to protect its economic interests.=-DNA

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