(January 21, 2022)
Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said Karachi is the economic hub of Pakistan and ignoring the needs of this important city is tantamount to playing with the weak economy.
The government gets 68% of its revenue from Karachi, while its share in exports is 54% while its share in textile exports is 52% which cannot be ignored, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the industrial sector in Karachi is suffering from low gas pressure while the gas of some of the industry has completely been discontinued resulting in a shutdown.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the gas problem has made it impossible for the non-export industry to operate resulting in unemployment and heavy losses.
He said that investors are not able to fulfil their commitments on time due to the gas crisis which is affecting their reputation and they have to pay fines.
The business leader added that the closure of industries due to the gas crisis will not only affect employment but the government will have to bear huge losses in terms of revenue while it is also increasing the tension between the provincial government and the centre.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that last year the industrialists of Karachi had entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Commerce for the purchase of gas but due to mismanagement of the concerned departments it did not receive gas and no action was taken against the officials involved.
This year the process of LNG procurement was mar with mismanagement resulting in losses of billions to the government.
A gas crisis in the presence of LNG terminals is not acceptable which has pushed the export industry, general industry, CNG sector, and SMEs to the brink of disaster, he said, adding that no action was taken against those responsible for the mess.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that gas was not being supplied to the people in Karachi and other cities of Sindh as per their requirements. Their purchasing power is being further affected by switching to costly alternatives.
Apart from industries, more than two months have passed since the closure of the CNG sector which has affected millions of people. Two-thirds of the country’s gas is being extracted from Sindh but no gas is being supplied to the province which is a clear violation of the constitution, he said.