Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has demanded immediate restoration of full supplies of Regassified Liquified Natutal Gas (RLNG) to power plants to avert any crisis in export-oriented industries. He added that Pakistan is already struggling with an enormous trade deficit; which stands at of $43.3 billion in 11 months of 2021 – 22 and state-owned foreign exchange reserves (FER) have fallen to merely $9.72 billion; which are not even sufficient to cover two months of exports as Pakistan’s imports have surpassed $6 billion / month.
FPCCI Chief emphasized that the least the government can do is to not disturb the industrial production in the export-oriented industries through disruptions in gas and power supplies. He said that captive power producers (CPPs) supplying power to the textile industry are not getting the required RLNG supplies and that has added to the concerns of the exporters that they might not be able to fulfill the export orders; while they are also preoccupied with the challenge of volatility in exchange rate; and, massive increases in power, gas and fuel prices.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh reiterated that textile industry is the backbone of Pakistani exports and they are all geared up to break the psychological barrier of $20 billion this year. He explained that goodwill, reputation and credibility mean everything in the export markets; and, once an order is not fulfilled, it is very difficult to earn new orders.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has proposed that PLL, gas terminals, gas distribution companies, private licensees for LNG import and all relevant government ministries should sit together under the leadership of the Honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif; and, reach a resolution and mechanism to avoid any future disruptions.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has maintained that, as President of FPCCI, he is ever-ready to help the government in bringing the business community together and help the government reach a win-win solution for all.