"Several of them are involved in exports of glass and ceramic products to western markets. They were set up here at the invitation of the government to utilize low pressure gas from isolated fields," said a letter sent by Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat, seeking Prime Minister's intervention.
It claimed that the action by Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) to cut supply of APM gas by 58 percent to 33 units has put 30,000 direct and 1.2 lakh indirect jobs at stake, since non-availability of gas is forcing these units to shut shop.
A 58 percent reduction in gas supply has been in effect since September this year, affecting these 33 manufacturing units in the region.
Based on Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) guidelines, GAIL took the decision to curtail APM gas supplies to these units to meet demands of CNG consumers.
In its letter, Assocham also stated that the decision to cut the supply of cheap APM gas by 58 percent to these units, is contrary to the spirit of the PM's 'Make In India' programme.
"While on one hand the government is committed to increase jobs and get foreign investment, on the other hand, the decision to cut gas supply impacts the viability of units contributing to the nation," the letter said.
The South Gujarat Small Gas Consumers' Association (SGSGCA) has been raising this issue at different fora ever since GAIL imposed the cut.
Assocham claimed that the 33 units consume only 1 percent of the total APM gas allocation of 60 million metric standard cubic meters per day (MMSCMD). Thus, if there is a shortage of gas and a cut in supply is inevitable, Assocham suggested "a uniform cut of 0.5 percent across the board" on the total domestic gas supply of 60 MMSCMD.
"Alternatively, the cut should be implemented first in the non-priority sector represented by steel, petrochemicals, and refineries," Assocham's letter said.

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