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Chemical industry seeks exemption from lockdown

By Our Correspondent
April 06, 2020

LAHORE: Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) has urged the provincial governments of Punjab and Sindh to exempt the chemical manufacturing units from Section 144 (lockdown).

Otherwise, it warned, production of over 23 essential items including exportable products of textile, garments and leather industries would be stopped.

PCMA Chairman Abrar Ahmad, in a request letter, sent to the home secretaries of Punjab and Sindh, informed that the chemical industry was contributing PKR 35 billion in the form of taxes and USD 12 billion to national GDP. It was also providing 400,000 jobs with an income multiplier of 4.2 and with job multiplies of 7.8. He said that almost all the industries were dependent on the chemical industry for input chemicals to produce their products. He identified about 23 essential products, which would not be produced if chemical industry did not resume operation to make input-chemicals for them.

These industries include food, pharma, soap, detergents, fertilisers, pesticides, construction, power plants, water treatment plants, export-oriented industries like textile, garments, cotton gloves, allied fabrics knitted and woven dyed, home-care, body-care, healthcare, sanitizers, hand-wash, shampoos, laundry soap, laundry detergent powders and leather industry. He said currently, chemical manufacturers have huge orders piled up from the forward linkage industries, but unfortunately, they have not been included in the industries whose operations had been exempted from enforcement of Section 144.

He urged the chief ministers of Punjab and Sindh to issue early orders for exemption of chemical manufacturing industry from Section 144 to avoid disruption in supply chain of all essential industries including the export-led industries, which are threatened to be handicapped due to unavailability of the input chemicals. The PCMA chairman assured that the chemical units, under the prevailing pandemic of coronavirus, would be operated with minimum number of staff by strictly adhering to the precautionary measures against Covid-19 as per SOPs.