Archive for March, 2014

War on water resources seems inescapable

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Water scarcity to make Pakistan a failed state in a decade
India wants free trade and transformation of Pakistan into a desert
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said water scarcity is to transform Pakistan into a totally failed state within a decade.
War between Pakistan and India on the issue of water resources seems inevitable as serious efforts by Islamabad to increase trade between the two countries has not helped New Delhi to change its policy of water aggression, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Speaking at a seminar on World Water Day, he said that according Most Favoured Nation status to India may not change its decades-old policy to make Pakistan infertile.
The issue of water aggression cannot be resolved through enhanced trade or negotiations as India may not like to settle the dispute except a full scale armed conflict with global implications, he observed.

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Monetary policy contradicted Govt’s economic victories

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Costly credit to hinder benefits of GSP Plus
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said State Bank’s monetary policy has disputed recent economic successes of the government.
Government, masses and the business community has been celebrating the fall or dollar against local currency while the SBP’s policymakers have indicated it insufficient to cut key policy rates, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that the central bank’s pessimism will have a negative impact on the sentiments of the business community and the overall investment climate.
How can exporters benefit from trade relaxations of the European Union if they cannot get cheap credit from the banks, he questioned, adding that reduced exports will have a negative impact on efforts to reduce trade deficit.

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Nepra asked to facilitate resolution of energy crisis

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday asked National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to resolve the tariff issue of power co-generation pending since 2009 to reduce the intensity of energy crisis.
Nepra has not been allowing sugar mills produce electricity through co-generation which is taking toll on the limping economy, it said.
Sugar millers have been trying since five years to get upfront tariff of 11 cents per unit approved so that they can start power production using bagasse and coal, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Removing bureaucratic hurdles would pave way for the resolution of energy crisis as sugar industry has great potential for power generation which will reduce unemployment and trigger new investments, he observed.

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Bureaucracy impeding resolution of energy crisis

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday said the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) is not allowing sugar mills produce 2000 mw of electricity through co-generation since five years.
An urgent decision is needed as delay on the part of regulators of electricity in the energy starved notion is taking toll on the limping economy, it said.
Sugar millers have been trying since 2009 to get upfront tariff of 11 cents per unit approved so that they can start producing electricity by using bagasse and coal, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said this while talking to a group of industrialists led by Iskandar Muhammad Khan, former president Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA).
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that in 2009 the government approved 19 cents tariff for rental power plants and 14 cents tariff for IPPs but refused to allow sugar millers tariff of 11 cents despite the fact that co-generation would have no impact on forex reserves as no imports were involved.

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Situation around $25 trillion reserves should remain normal: PEW

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Study on impact of Thar tragedy on progress of coal reserves demanded
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday demanded a detailed study on the impact of recent Thar tragedy on the development of coal reserves worth 25 trillion dollars.
Situation in Thar should be watched closely and kept normal for smooth flow of the projects that have potential to save Pakistan, it said.
Thar coal can change the fate of Pakistan if utilized in a proper way. It can save oil import bill, reduce unemployment and help strengthen economy, rupee and forex stocks, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that PEW in 2008 pointed out that 185 billion tonnes of coal worth 25 trillion dollars can not only cater for electricity requirements of whole country for centuries but also save billions dollars in staggering oil import bill.

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Muneer asked to cleanse TDAP, facilitate exports

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SMEs remain most important and most neglected sector
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday facilitated national business leader SM Muneer on his appointment as CEO of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).
The appointment of seasoned business leader on the important slot reflects government’s confidence in his person and the business community which is driver of the economic growth, it said.
SM Muneer should prioritise eradication of corruption in the TDAP so that this institution can play its role in the national development by earning foreign exchange for Pakistan, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that three weeks back Federal Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan had announced that Government has planned to restructure TDAP to project Pakistani goods in regional and international markets.

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Thar-like drought feared in Rawalpindi

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Acute water scarcity to cause massive unrest
PM, CM Punjab asked to save Pindiites from starvation
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday expressed fears of Thar-like drought situation in the Rawalpindi within next few years.
Availability of water which is essential to all forms of life will be reduced dramatically within years in the city and cantonment areas of Rawalpindi, which would be worse than the ongoing energy crisis, it said.
Realising the threat, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) asked the Punjab Government to construct a dam on Soan River at Daducha which will provide 25 million gallon water to the city daily for next 50 years, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
JICA said that Rawal Dam is to complete its expected life soon while the requirement of Rawalpindi is expected to touch 80 million gallon per day in the next twenty years therefore a dam on best available location of Daducha should be constructed immediately.

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Dollar retreat great achievement of the Govt

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Strengthening rupee to improve overall economic situation
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said continued retreat of the US dollar is one of the great achievements of the government which will help stabilise economy, tame inflation and restore investor’s confidence.
The rising rupee will further push the US dollar down to set new records but stabilising exchange rate which has remained volatile since long will be a test for the economic managers, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
It appears that the finance minister who recently claimed to bring dollar back at Rs98 is fulfilling his commitment which will cut oil import bill, bring down prices of imported commodities and have a positive impact on every person in Pakistan.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal attributed the strength of rupee to excess supply, ban on gold import since January, encouraging IMF reports, Chinese decision to invest billions in Pakistan, award of GSP plus, expected sale of next generation telecom licences, positive interference by SBP and 11 per cent hike in remittances.

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Those who don’t pay bills shouldn’t get electricity

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Equal treatment to honest consumers, thieves unacceptable
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said one of the reasons behind chronic energy crisis is policy of punishing honest consumers while rewarding the fraudulent.
Equal treatment to honest consumers of electricity and thieves is unacceptable, it said.
The people and departments that have developed the habit of not paying their bills should have no right to use electricity, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Around 1.4 billion people are living without electricity in the world with 800 million of them are from south Asia, he said.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that 2.6 billion people still use solid fuels globally as general access to energy is yet to find place in the UN Millennium Development Goals.

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Stability linked to food security

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to improve food security situation without which stability cannot be ensured
Pakistan must improve its deteriorating ranking in food security index as almost half of the country’s population remains food insecure, it said.
Every individual has a right to physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food on consistent basis that fulfils the dietary needs, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Affordability, availability and quality of the food in Pakistan needs serious review as hunger is rising despite increase agriculture output which indicates lack of serious efforts on the part of the government.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that countries like India, Sri Lanka, Angola, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nicaragua, Niger, Vietnam, and India have performed better than Pakistan.
Government should think seriously about providing cover to over 61 million food insecure people which is a major national issue as rising food prices, floods, poverty, conflicts, terrorism, energy crisis, economic slowdown and political instability are some factors behind hunger.

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