KARACHI: The Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) has announced a countrywide protest against the suspension of gas supply in Punjab.
PVMA Chairman Atif Ikram Sheikh showed concern on the suspension of gas and said the ghee industry was facing a challenge of sustainability on account of energy shortage, particularly gas supply.
Sheikh said that there were 43 units of ghee manufacturers in Punjab, of which 37 were functional, but gas supply to them was suspended for the last one week.
He said that Punjab-based industry produced 4000MT a day of quality ghee and banaspati. For the last 40 years, the gas supply to ghee industry had never stopped.
The PVMA chairman said that since 2008 onwards only 25 percent sanctioned load of gas was being supplied to the ghee industry to ensure the hydrogenation of ghee for cracking purpose as per requirement of PSQCA.
He said that the gas was cracked to obtain hydrogen – a raw material mandatory to manufacture standardized ghee and cooking oil, adding that if the gas supply to ghee units in Punjab was not restored, there would be a severe shortage of ghee.
Sheikh pressed the government to restore only 25 percent of gas to manufacturing units in Punjab to ensure sufficient supply of ghee and cooking oil to the people.
The chairman urged the government and gas authorities to devise a rational load management plan to relieve the ghee producers during the winter otherwise they would be forced to close their units and take to streets.