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LAHORE: While the country looking for borrowings from IMF, analysts called for introducing a long-term strategy to move towards indigenization of resources for power generation, which is the back bone of any growing economy.

Economist Dr Noor Fatima said the current economic crisis will be controlled if we manage to overcome the country’s deficit. In order to halt inflation in the country we must stop the imports immediately and overlook the power situation in the country to help the industries work efficiently she said.

“It is high time that Pakistan should switch its reliance from expensive imported fuels to focus its interest on the country’s indigenous resources,” Syed Saifullah Kazmi, a renowned financial expert, said, adding: “Pakistan needs to increase its share of coal, or other indigenous resources, in power generation to have economic stability and energy security in the long run.

This will also be in line with the regional countries’ policies as China and India have announced plans to increase their domestic coal production by a combined total of 700 million tons per year.” It may be noted that in April, China announced it will increase coal output by 300 million tons this year. Last month, India said it aims to increase domestic coal production by more than 400 million tons by the end of next year. By the end of next year, China will be producing about 4.4 billion tons of coal per year and India will be mining about 1.2 billion tons. India’s coal needs are set to double by 2040.

Given the unprecedented high prices of imported fuel, Thar coal expansion could also provide a huge relief for Forex reserves of Pakistan with savings of approximately USD 2.5 billion, while it will result in the reduction of more than Rs 100 billion in circular debt on an annual basis, analysts believe.

Economist Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig said that Pakistan will definitely get out of this economic crisis with the grace of Almighty Allah. The new government has taken bold decisions for better future for Pakistan, he said, adding: “The government should also provide targeted subsidies to poor segments of the society apart from providing incentives to the agriculture sector so that we can export pulses, wheat, sugar and other food stuff rather than importing these items.”

Moreover, the import of furnace oil for energy production should be discouraged and the local resources must be utilized for energy production including coal, thermal, hydro and others, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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