SCCI rejects decision of gas suspension to industries, CNG sector in KP

he Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has rejected the government’s decision to suspend gas supplies to industries and the CNG sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) from next week, terming it unacceptable for the business community.Lamenting the move, SCCI President Sherbaz Bilour Bilour, while talking to a group of industrialists here at his office on Saturday, called the decision against the constitutional rights of the province wherein gas is produced in surplus quantity.As per details, the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has issued a notification regarding the suspension of gas supplies to general industries and CNG sector in name of load management from September 13, till improvement of the situation in KP.

Bilour asked the government to immediately withdraw the decision of gas suspension, warning of protests in case the business community is ignored.He said gas and electricity are prime utility and lifeline for industries, and halting them is tantamount to bringing stagnation in industrial growth.The chamber president went on to say that the industrial growth has already been slowed down in the prevalent Covid-19 scenario, while  disruption of gas supply in industrial areas would bring a further negative impact on production with outfall to likely delay export orders as well as domestic supply of goods in the long run.“KP is producing surplus gas against the total consumption; despite this fact, industries are not fully supplying this important utility, which is a sheer violation of the article 158-A of the Constitution that has guaranteed that an area has the first right to fully exploit its natural resources,” Bilour said.Furthermore, he elaborated that gas consumption of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is around 200 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) against the total production of approximately 400 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) gas and 830 tonnes liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on a daily basis.

Sherbaz Bilour also expressed grave concern over unannounced and hours-long electricity load shedding to commercial and industrial consumers, asking the department concerned to ensure uninterrupted power supply to businesses and industries, which are the major source behind contributions to the national economy.The SCCI president demanded of the Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, special assistant to prime minister (SAPM) on Petroleum, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and other relevant high officials concerned to take immediate notice of gas and electricity suspension to industries and ensure uninterrupted supply of these major utilities in order to promote industrial development in the province.

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