Industry should be the first priority in supply of natural gas: Mian Zahid Hussain

Karachi, July 13, 2022 (PPI-OT):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 Wednesday said ignoring Karachi is tantamount to playing with the national economy.

Karachi’s share in the country’s exports is 54%, it is the largest employment provider in the country and it contributes over Rs4200 billion in taxes to the national exchequer. Mian Zahid Hussain said that keeping in view the importance of Karachi, the provision of electricity, gas, water, sewerage and infrastructure should be better.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Karachi is the economic hub of Pakistan but all the important departments related to economic affairs are located 1400 kilometres away from it in Islamabad. Talking to the business community, Mian Zahid Hussain said following the torrential rains in Karachi in August 2020 resulting in heavy loss of life and property, an infrastructure package worth Rs1100 billion rupees was announced which was never implemented.

He said that no one will like to invest in a city where rain can disrupt life, results in deaths and half of the city is inundated. The business leader said that government should reconsider the controversial priority list for the provision of natural gas to different sectors and give preference to the industrial sector to boost production, revenue, employment and exports.

He noted that gas has become a very scarce resource but domestic gas connections are being provided due to political considerations which are adding to the circular debt in this sector. Mian Zahid Hussain said that countries rich in energy resources and those exporting gas would not waste this resource as we do. The majority of such countries would provide LPG or other fuels to the masses and prefer industry for the provision of natural gas.

He informed that gas theft and leakage in the commercial and domestic sector is almost 10 percent while such loss in the industrial sector is one percent but politics always get preference over the economy which is against the national interests, therefore, residences should be shifted on solar energy.

He said that the masses are braving long hours of load shedding but no country or company is willing to sell LNG to Pakistan due to the international economic crisis. LNG tenders have been floated repeatedly with no response which will intensify the energy crisis and add to the miseries of the masses, he said.

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