Pakistan Agriculture News

Closure of mills due to gas suspension Crunch time for fertilizer unit workers

MIANWALI: The closure of Agri Tec Fertilizer in Iskandarabad due to gas suspension has brought small-time employees and daily-wagers associated with it and their families to the brink of starvation.

The protesting workers took out a rally from the factory area to Mianwali-Bannu road and blocked traffic for a couple of hours a few days ago. The rally was also attended by a large number of people from different walks of life to show solidarity with the jobless.

Factory General Manager Rehan Munir told Dawn that he had a meeting with the SNGPL managing director last week and tried his best to convince him to restore gas supply and offered to clear all arrears as soon as factory became functional.

He said the MD had promised to present our problem in a meeting of SNGPL board of directors. But at the same time the MD repeated old offer to provide LNG (Liquified Natual Gas) at Rs 900 per MBTU against the Ogra rate of Rs 480 per MBTU.

Mr Rehan said LNG at Rs 900 increased the manufacturing cost but they could not raise price of fertilizer against the rates fixed by the federal government.

Mr Rehan said they were at loss to understand the `double standard’ of the government which was offering LNG in other provinces at the Ogra price.

He said many fertilizer units in Punjab had been closed due to this step-motherly treatment.

Mr.Rehan said the gas supplied to factory was also used for generation of electricity to feed the residential colony as well and its surrounding poplulace beside supply of drinking water. “Now all these areas are in dark and without water.”