FAISALABAD: Due to suspended gas supply to soap factories their production capacity has reduced by 70 per cent.
Soap exporters are being warned by Afghan importers that they would switch over to Iran if their consignments were not dispatched on time.
“The foreign buyers are threatening to cancel their orders because of the delay that will give another blow to us,” said Muzammil Saleem, President Faisalabad Soap Association.
He said Afghanistan needed 6,000 tonnes of soap monthly worth $50 million and only Faisalabad could fulfill the demand subject to smooth gas supply.
Muzammil Saleem said the textile sector of Faisalabad required 85mmcf gas, however, the soap industry would need only 5mmcf gas. He said the district had more than two dozen soap factories, earning millions of dollars annually and providing jobs to thousands of workers. However, the government seems the least interested in resolving the issues of soap sector that was moving towards a total collapse, he added.
“Gas suspension and surging prices of the raw material are pushing soap exporters out of the international market,” he said. “Earlier, industrialists had been raising voice that gas was being supplied to other provinces except Punjab. But now the government has divided Punjab in two parts. Gas suspension to soap industry is a clear example of this disparity,” he added.
He appealed to the government to provide gas to soap sector like the textile industry as it had a major share in exports to Afghanistan.