Islamabad industry faces power outages after gas suspension: ICCI

The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has shown grave concerns over the gas suspension to industry as well as electricity load shedding, saying these would badly affect industrial productivity and ultimately hurt the overall economy.

ICCI President Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that the supply of gas was stopped abruptly to various industries in Islamabad including steel re-rolling mills and steel furnaces, which has badly disturbed their production schedules. He said that supply of gas to industry has been suspended in the peak summer season, which has never happened before as domestic consumption of gas in summer season normally comes down to the lowest level. He demanded that the government should conduct a thorough enquiry into the emerging gas crisis in the country and fix responsibility on those who are found involved in gas mismanagement.

He said that the relevant authorities should have done proper advanced planning to deal with such situations in order to minimise the impact of the gas crisis on the industrial sector. The ICCI president said that Islamabad Electricity Supply Company (IESCO) has also started electricity load shedding for industries like steel re-rolling and steel furnaces from 2:00pm to 6:00pm in Islamabad without taking stakeholders on board, which has multiplied the problems for the industrial sector.

He said that due to the shutdown of private feeders by IESCO, the industrial labour has been deprived of the supply of electricity due to which they are badly suffering in this hot season. He said that this situation would create a shortage of labour supply to industries.

Therefore, he emphasised that IESCO should end 4-hour load shedding for industry and restore all private feeders to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to industrial labour in order to mitigate their sufferings.

He was of the view that the gas and electricity crisis due to mismanagement would discourage many potential investors to consider Pakistan for investment and urged that the government should take strong action against the responsible persons. He also appealed to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to conduct an inquiry into the gas mismanagement and fix responsibility on the culprits.

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