LAHORE - Pakistan Tanners Association Northern Zone Chairman Khawaja Muhammad Mehr Ali has strongly condemned suspension of gas supply to Punjab industries, including the leather tanneries, which are already facing numerous challenges.

Khawaja Mehr Ali while addressing a press conference said that jobs of more than 1 million workers are at risk due to gas suspension. He emphasised that leather manufacturing is a continuous process industry requires uninterruptible supply of gas otherwise its precious stock may putrefy due to gas suspension. He informed that Punjab leather industries require quite an insignificant amount of gas as compare to other exporting industries like textiles. Total gas required for whole of the Punjab leather tanneries is 16mmcfd which is manageable and is equal to gas consumption of only 2 textile mills. Stating facts, he apprised that suspension in winter season is now routine adding to that is the routine shut down which is causing discontinuation of gas supply more than 70pc of time annually.

Khawaja Ali told that leather industry is an efficient industry, doing 70pc value addition and earning more than a billion dollar annually using a limited resources. Supplying gas to an efficient export earner would be most viable for the country also, he added.

He appealed to the Prime Minister to come to the rescue of second largest industry of the country and resolve the serious issue that could be fatal for the leather industry.