LCCI president says government’s discriminatory attitude has put question mark on its ability to manage and govern things
LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday said gas closure for Punjab Industry was a well-calculated conspiracy against the Nawaz Sharif-led government.
In a statement issued, LCCI President Ijaz A Mumtaz said, “The rise in number of unemployed would definitely give air to anti-government sentiments and this single step would throw millions of industrial workers out of jobs.”
He said that it was not the industry only that would be suffering massively but the government would also be an ultimate loser on many counts.
“The government would have to reset its priorities regarding provision of gas and stop discrimination immediately otherwise situation would go out of hands.”
He urged the government to immediately shelve the proposed “Industry Closure Plan” to avert industrial closures and resultant massive lay offs.
“How can the industry afford to pay the all-time high mark up when there in no gas for the industry?”
He urged the government to get replaced obsolete gas geysers and heaters with latest solar geysers and heaters to ensure provision of gas to the industry.
The LCCI president said that around 40 percent of the industrial units in Punjab run on gas and the suspension means no production by almost half of the industry and a loss of millions of rupees to the national 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 almost uninterrupted supply except a two-to-three hour load shedding, he added.
He sought the PM’s intervention and help for a regular supply of gas to the industry in Punjab.
He said that the decision has sent a negative signal to the foreign buyers.
“Instead of coming up with some sort of relief package, the industry is being pushed to the wall. The gas suspension for four days a week is tantamount to throttling the industry to death.”
Mumtaz said that the shortage of gas was not the only issue but its improper distribution also remained a cause of worry. He said that despite competitive quality and price, Pakistani exporters were unable to make delivery on time.
He said that the businessmen were unable to understand that why the business community was not taken into confidence over industry-related issues and if the SNGPL was facing some supply related issues he must bring them to the notice of real stakeholders well ahead of time.
Separately, The LCCI appealed to the Punjab chief minister to declare Katarbund Road industrial area as Industrial Estate.
LCCI Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi raised the demand after a meeting with the delegation of Katarbund Road Industrial Association led by its Vice President Mian Nawaz at the LCCI.
The other members of the delegation included Secretary General Mian Yousaf, EC members Mian Younas, Mahboob Shah and Fawad Shamsi.
Ghaznavi said that it seemed that the Katarbund Road industrial area was not in the domain of the Punjab government as despite being at a few kilometres away from Thokar Niaz Baig, it has completely broken roads and no sewerage system and lack of facilities.
Meanwhile, Former LCCI vice president Aftab Ahmed Vohra demanded that the government resume trade between Pakistan and India through Wahga border.
In a statement, Vohra urged the NLC authorities to build a separate road for trade activities at Wahga border. He also urged the concerned authorities to restore the office of clearing agents immediately.