LAHORE: Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Lieutenant General (Retired) Muzammil Hussain has said that the first-ever national water policy will be announced soon that will help overcome water challenges.
He was talking to Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Malik Tahir Javed, Senior Vice President Zeshan Khalil and other officials.
“Energy and food security is as essential as the security of borders; the country is preserving only 10% of flowing water despite the fact that water resources are depleting,” he remarked. Hussain revealed that Pakistan stood at the 15th place in the list of water-deprived countries and put the economic worth of water wastage into sea at around $14.5 billion.
“We have to plan today for our future as the population of Pakistan will cross 300 million by 2050,” he said while emphasising that the government was working on various water and power projects, of which many were near completion.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI president said though the government had largely overcome the energy shortfall and electricity load-shedding had gone down considerably, there was a dire need to slash electricity prices in order to provide some relief for the industry. He recalled that some three decades ago the energy mix in Pakistan comprised roughly 70% hydel resources and 30% other resources, but said the proportion had now almost reversed.
“Expensive energy mix is causing more problems for us. High price of energy adversely affects export competitiveness of the country as it takes a major share in the production cost,” he said.
Javaid emphasised that the business community would be much relieved if the per unit price of electricity was brought down because that would make their products more competitive in the international market.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2018.