Businessmen show concern over closure of gas to industry in winter

Islamabad: The local businessmen and industrialists in a meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry have shown great concerns over the reported decision of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to close down the supply of gas CNG stations, captive power plants, industrial and fertilizer sectors in the coming season and called upon the government to refrain from taking such measures as it would badly cripple the business and industrial activities in the country.

Chairing the meeting, Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that government should ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to industry by rationalizing the allocation of gas to different sectors as the closure of gas to industry would further weaken the already struggling economy.

He said due to energy crisis, the industry is running on far less than its actual capacity and shutting down gas to this critical sector of the economy would cause multiple negative implications including closure of industrial units, bank defaults, loss of jobs to millions of workers, reduction in tax revenue leading to further slump in economic activities.

The businessmen said the new government had created lot of hopes in traders and industrialists as they were looking forward to formulation of business friendly policies for reviving the economy but such harmful decisions go against its promises to facilitate the growth of business and industry.

They said the country needs new investment to improve infrastructure & economic revival and warned that stopping gas to industry would discourage prospective investors from considering Pakistan for investment. The industry needs continues power supply to meet exports orders and any suspension of gas would hurt the exports of the country as well.

Zafar Bakhtawari said government should take all stakeholders on board before considering policy decisions that direct impact on business & industrial activities. He urged upon the government to focus on maximum exploitation of all cheap energy resources including coal, hydro, wind and solar etc. for making Pakistan self-sufficient in energy as without energy, the country could never be able to achieve its set economic targets.

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