Archive for December, 2017

Pakistan facing Indian water aggression: PEW

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Disputes over KBD must be settled
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the country is facing water terrorism from India as part of the plan to destabilise Pakistan.
The scarcity of water in rivers has pushed people to utilise groundwater which is depleting at a fast pace, it said.
The politicians should immediately settle the disputes on Kalabagh dam and other mega projects without which future of the country seems bleak, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that demand and supply gap for water has reached alarming levels which will make Pakistan if immediate steps were not taken therefore politicians should settle their dispute in the larger national interest, he added.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that the government should declare water as the most important issue of national security as the climate change, decreasing glaciers and forests and well as water aggression has emerged as grave threats.
He said that different areas have been witnessing a reduction in the water table from four to 12 inches per annum while some areas have witnessed the reduction of three to four feet annually which has increased the cost of pumping water through tube wells.
He said that scarcity of water is to hurt water-intensive crops like rice and sugar cane in the beginning and entire agricultural chain subsequently which will create problems like unemployment, food security and closure of our leading industries.
Pakistan’s population would be 250 million by 2025, demand for water would be at 338 billion cubic meters while availability would be 236 BCM creating many challenges.
The incumbent government is too much focused on court cases, foreign loans, next elections and new powerhouses while it should spare some time to tackle the issue of water scarcity, he demanded.

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Govt lauded for continued improvement in power generation: PEW

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Pace of reforms in power sector is slower than needed
IPPs facing liquidity crunch due to non-payment of bills

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday lauded the government for continued improvement in the power generation which is necessary for socio-economic development.
However, it said that pace of reforms is slower than expected which must be considered by the policymakers in the national interest.
Transmission and distribution losses and theft of electricity should be contained which the circular debt should not be allowed to resurface, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that twenty independent power producers are facing problems in continuing operations as their overdue amount has jumped to Rs205 billion which has compromised their ability to operate at full capacity.
These IPPs have stopped payments to PSO and others which is adding to the problem which must be noticed, he added.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that pace of reforms in the power sector should not be allowed to threaten the economic stability of the country.
Power sector reforms are directly linked to investors’ confidence and investment in the country which must be realised on the policy level, he said.
He observed that the masses and the economy continue to get punished for the weakness of the power sector which must get the immediate attention of the authorities.
The government has repeatedly assured the IMF to hike power tariff, keep surcharge intact, reduce losses and 100 percent collection but steps in this direction are yet awaited.

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Recent bond auction to provide temporary relief: PEW

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Sustainable development requires meaningful reforms
Reforms should not be ignored on political considerations

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said recent bond auction worth 2.5 billion dollars will provide temporary relief to the struggling government.
Sustainable development requires a difficult path of meaningful reforms which are being ignored due to political considerations, it said.
The PM Abbasi’s government continue to rely on loans to keep the country afloat like his predecessor Nawaz Sharif who acquired 35 billion dollars of loans to return previous loans, finance some projects, keep forex reserves in shape and gove impression of economic stability, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that the Nawaz government acquired 17 billion dollars of loans to repay loans which is a record while it got loans over 10 billion dollars in one year which is also a record.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that burden of loans increased by 30 percent during the era of Nawaz Sharif while the assets of politicians also increased in which the assets of former finance minister Ishar Dar increased 91 times, another record.
Former finance minister played a very important role in pushing the country into the debt trap while the current government is also following the same path by ignoring reforms and getting loans which will not resolve the problems.
The total loans have increased by 67.2 percent of the total national output which will have a very negative impact, he said, adding that government should not devalue the currency to please some exporters.

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