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Energy crisis: Availability, affordability of natural gas

Published on September 17, 2014We talk much about the power crisis but equally important is availability and affordability of gas, which across the world is a prime source of fuel to run power plants, industry and homes. Pakistan is among only a couple of dozens or so countries that are blessed with a fairly substantial availability of natural gas. It was first discovered in 1953 at Sui amidst countrywide celebrations. It was readily made available in abundance to the public in the mid 1950s. Today the Sui fields, once the pride and energy lifeline of the country stands depleted by 70%. It is estimated that only 2.3 TCF is remaining. Likewise, the capacity of Badin Gas fell from 170 mmcfd to 80 mmcfd and same is the case with other fields as well.Read full story

Federal budget FY15: The tale of fiscal stabilisation

Published on September 17, 2014Fiscal stabilisation is the key feature emerging from the statistics presented in the federal budget documents 2014-15. According to the budget documents, revised estimates for 2013-14 indicate that budget deficit was much lower compared to what was envisaged at the time of budget making. At the time of budget making, authorities estimated the budget deficit of 6.3 percent of GDP, while as per revised estimates overall budget deficit would likely to be 5.8 percent of GDP in 2013-14. Even in absolute terms, it declined from Rs 1.65 trillion to Rs 1.45 trillion as per official estimates. Pakistan's authorities believe that this positive deviation is the result of their austerity efforts; they claimed that their policies act as a stimulus to economy and helped to achieve much needed fiscal stabilisation. The question is whether this deviation is an outcome of sound macroeconomic policies or flawed computation made during the budget making exercise.Read full story

Climate smart farmers get tech savvy to save India's breadbasket

Published on September 17, 2014Erratic weather, rising temperatures, declining water resources and labour shortages are threatening India's breadbasket state of Haryana, forcing farmers to abandon age-old practices and adopt technology to ensure food supplies for millions. Using machines which sow rice directly, devices to inform when to irrigate and phone messages warning of infestations, thousands of farmers are learning to adapt to climate change, boost soil fertility and reduce their carbon emissions.Read full story

Partly Facetious: Sharifs have drawn important lesson from ZAB

Published on September 17, 2014"What next? Two First Information Reports (FIRs) against the Prime Minister, Chief Minister Punjab and the Interior Minister."Read full story