New coal power plants in Balochistan: Panel slams govt for its failure to ensure use of locally produced coal
ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee on Thursday came down hard on the government for its failure to ensure use of locally produced coal in construction of new coal power plants in Balochistan.
The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce which met here with Mirza Muhammad Afridi said that Pakistan is a coal-rich country, but coal has not been developed for power generation due to lack of infrastructure and technology.
He said that there is a need to promote low carbon energy instead of importing coal from abroad, as it can turn around the fragile economy of the country, if the standard of locally-available coal is improved.
“By using technology to increase power generation will go a long way in making the country self-sufficient, but it will boost the local industry in creating jobs,” he added.
He said that the imported coal is not only affecting the local industry, as billions of dollars foreign exchange reserves slip out of the country, which is badly affecting the economy.
In response to a question asked by Senator Usman Kakar, the committee recommended that locally-produced coal should be used in the power plants being set up at Gwadar.
Kakar said that 6,500,000 tons coal is imported, for which the government had to pay billions of dollars, but doing nothing to utilize the coal reserves, which if paid a little attention, can help in overcoming the unemployment and poverty in the country. The chairman of the committee said that all the four provinces would be told through letters by the committee to use indigenous coal in all power projects in future. The committee was also giving briefing on the proposed textile policy.
The officials said that the draft has been sent to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for further deliberation.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021