Among the industrial units --- most of which are into manufacturing glass and ceramics --- that are likely to be affected by the cut in gas quota include Gujarat Borosil Ltd which is the only producer of solar gas (used for solar panels, solar thermal heaters and green houses) in India.
"We have received a mail from GAIL announcing a 58 percent cut in supplies in order to comply with the guidelines of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). This cut will force the closure of over 30 units that are our members and have a combined annual turnover of Rs 5000 crore," said Ashok Jain, vice-president of South Gujarat Small Gas Consumers Association (SGSGCA) and the whole-time director of Gujarat Borosil Ltd while talking to The Indian Express.
Currently, these units together receive 6 lakh standard cubic meter per day (SCMD) of APM gas. "We get this gas at Rs 10 per SCMD. Most of us cannot opt for spot RLNG (Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas) which will cost about Rs 40 per SCMD or furnace oil," Jain added.
Apart from Gujarat Borosil, the companies that are likely to be affected include, Pragati Glass, Piramal Glass, Haldyn Glass, Schott Glass, Belgium Ceramics and others. "GAIL is seeking to implement a major cut in gas supply to these (industrial) consumers which shows no concern for the industry. This runs counter to the target "Make in India- Made in India" boldly announced by the newly installed government at the Centre under the leadership of Narendra Modi...," states an official release from SGSGCA circulated to the media here.
"Borosil is the only producer of solar glass in India and any restriction which will curtail Borosil's production will negatively affect the National Solar Mission," the release added. Gujarat Borosil produces 150-160 tonnes per day of solar glass at Govali village of Bharuch district.
SGSGCA has appealed for a status quo in this matter.