constitutionSCCI expresses concern over increase in gas prices for industries

PESHAWAR  -  Sarhad Chamber of Com­merce and Industry (SCCI) president Fuad Ishaq on Monday ex­pressed concern over the increase in gas prices for the industries of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, includ­ing textiles up to Rs3176 per MMBTU under the blended gas policy. 

He urged to withdraw 18 percent sales tax on industrial sector as the province has surplus gas production. 

Addressing a news conference here at the chamber house, the SCCI chief and Chairman Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa Textile Mills’ Association (KPT­MA) Kamran Shah said that it is completely in­justice to impose exces­sive gas prices on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where­in gas production is sur­plus which a sheer viola­tion of the article 158 of the Constitution of the country. 

Members of the busi­ness community said that 50 percent indus­tries in Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa were shut after imposition of blended gas policy in Khyber Pa­khtunkhwa and RLNG rate, which is making not only running the busi­nesses and industries difficult but impossible in the province. 

In response to a que­ry, Fuad Ishaq said that the total gas produc­tion of Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa is 550mmcfds against its consumption 200mmcfds, and impo­sition of the blended gas policy on the province is highly alarming. “Not a single industrial gas connection was given to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the past 13 years, contrary to that indus­trial gas connections were provided in Punjab, which was tantamount of discriminatory attitude of the rulers,” he added. 

The businessmen said that imposition of the blended gas policy with a ratio of 80/20 was completely unjust and against the Constitution of the country. 

The KPTMA chairman said the textile industry is the backbone of the country’s economy. Sev­en out of 15 textile units have almost shut in Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa under the prevailing scenario while rest of industrial units were running with capacity of 50 percent. 

Furthermore, he said that textile industries consume only 10mmfcds gas whereas the gas is in surplus quantity and consumption is less de­spite that discriminato­ry attitude is being car­ried out with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa industries, which is highly deplora­ble. 

Former president of the KPTMA, Afan Aziz, said that after increas­ing the prices and sup­plying gas at RLNG rates, the prices have now been doubled under the blend­ed gas policy, which is in­justice with Khyber Pa­khtunkhwa. He said that efforts are being made to deprive the province affected by terrorism of constitutional rights which is very worrying and this discrimination should be stopped im­mediately. 

Ilyas Bilour in reply to a query said that it is not the duty of the business community to fight with the government but we would try to raise issues of the community before it and resolve them with mutual consensus and table talks. He demand­ed of the government to ensure due constitution­al rights to Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa. 

Fuad Ishaq said that the business communi­ty believes in unity, tol­erance and harmony and would try to resolve the issue by following the way of negotiation with the government and rel­evant authorities. How­ever, he urged the gov­ernment to review its decision in the interest of industries and the fragile economy of the country.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt