Lahore, December 26, 2012 (PPI-OT): Endorsing APTMA’s stance on energy crisis, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has appealed to the government to restore power and gas supplies to the Punjab industries to save millions of jobs.
In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that the government has indicated closure of power for over a month, the industries are left with no other choice but to lay off millions of workers till the power and gas supply is fully restored. The LCCI President said that APTMA has already announced to relieve its workers because of total closure of their mills while other affected sectors would soon follow the suit.
The LCCI President said justice demands that all provinces should be treated equally in supply of these important utilities. He said that gas closure had already put 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”.
He said that the new gas load management plan is a well-calculated and well thought-out conspiracy against the present regime. “The rise in number of unemployed would definitely give air to anti-government sentiments.” “It is not the industry only that would be suffering massively but the government would also be an ultimate loser on many counts.” “How can the industry afford to pay the mark up when there in no gas for the industry.”
He said that there is a global phenomenon that industry is given top priority whereas in Pakistan it comes to the least and other sectors are given priority. He also urged the government to get replaced obsolete gas geysers and heaters with latest solar geysers and heaters to ensure gas to the industry.
The LCCI President said that around 40 per cent 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.
The ‘discriminatory attitude’ of the government was not only denting its goodwill and reputation but had also put a question mark on its ability to manage and govern things. He said that the units in Sindh were getting an almost uninterrupted supply except a two- to-three hour loadshedding.
Pointing out that the gas suspension plan a death knell for export-based industry and productivity, the LCCI President sought the Prime Minister’s intervention and help for a regular supply of gas to the industry in Punjab.
How the industry would be able to manage export orders worth millions of dollars when there is no gas? What about the thousands of daily wagers who have only one source of income? And above all, he added, how the government would convince both the local and foreign investors for investment when it is unable to manage the supply of gas to existing industrial units.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854