Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday expressed grave concern over rising cost of power generation terming it one of the biggest problems having potential to bankrupt country.
Per unit cost of electricity stands at Rs 14 which jumps to Rs 20 after adding different taxes in it which is not affordable for domestic consumers as well as the industry, it said.
Power production cost must be brought down through Thar coal and early construction of Kalabagh dam, transparency and efficiency otherwise it will leave industry uncompetitive, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of PEW.
Country’s installed capacity for power generation stands at 21000 mw but it has been producing around half it due to various problems including theft, losses, non-payment of bills and chronic circular debt, he added.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that focus on Thar coal and Kalabagh dam would contain energy crisis, cut oil import bill, provide jobs and boost economy.
These projects are must for revenue generation, future progress and national security of the country and survival, he added.
We have 175 billion tonnes of coal matching oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Qatar can ensure energy security for centuries by providing around 100000 MW of electricity, he said.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that Pakistan can provide affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity to consumers and earn huge foreign exchange by exporting power.
Presently, around 30 per cent of energy is being imported disturbing budget; the oil import bill will swell to 120-130 billion dollars in eight years when we will require 26000 MW to keep the economy moving, he added.
Germany, China and India are generating 80 per cent, 73 per cent and 63 per cent of electricity on coal while we have only one small 20MV unit working in the country which will be shut soon.
He said that Kalabagh is best site for a dam in Pakistan which has become a victim of politics. The age of that dam would be ten times more than that of Tarbela and Mangla dams, he informed.