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CCCI for scrapping of gas supply deal with KAFCO PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 May 2008

Staff Reporter

The business community in Chittagong has asked the government to scrap the gas supply deal with Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company and provide gas connections for other industrial units in the city.

"The KAFCO deal is destroying the country," Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, president of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry, alleged at a press conference at the CCCI office.

"On the one hand, the company is being provided huge quantity of gas at a nominal price, while on the other, other factories and industries are about to close their operations for want of gas."

Chittagong was being neglected in different ways though the city played an important role in commerce and industry, Chowdhury said. He termed a remark of the chief adviser's special assistant M Tamim unfortunate.

Tamim who oversees the power, energy and mineral resources ministry said Monday that the government would go slow in providing gas connections for new industries in Chittagong. Chowdhury said: "We understand that the supply of gas is not adequate, but we cannot accept that the door is closed forever."

"We will hold talks with the chief adviser on that," he said. The chamber leader suggested a rationing system for gas supply, if necessary. To overcome the crisis he asked the government to take initiative to excavate new gas fields.

The chamber leader asked the government to import fertiliser. "But do not create any disruption in the investment in the industries. Over 100 factories have halted production due to the gas crisis," he said.

"If investment is hampered, there will be no gain in reducing the prices of rice. If employment is not created purchasing power will not increase," Chowdhury said.

The CCCI proposed that the government form a Chittagong Development Coordination Committee that would be effective for two years. It also recommended making the Chittagong City Corporation mayor chairman of the committee, and the CCCI president the co-chairman.

"If the committee works sincerely Chittagong will not be left neglected anymore and it will be turned into an effective commercial city," Chowdhury said.

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