Economic cost of energy crisis in Pakistan

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Energy undeniably is a primary catalyst for national development. It is termed as the backbone and lifeline of a country’s economy and its availability ensures accelerated growth and development. On the other hand, an acute shortage of energy can be a great bottleneck in the supply of energy resources to an economy. Continuous and accelerated supply of energy has turned out to be the biggest challenge and a matter of serious concern of the contemporary world as the global scenario is now shifting its face from geopolitics to geo-economics. As a matter of fact, there has been an enormous increase in the global demand for energy in recent years as a result of industrial development and population growth. The supply of energy is, therefore, far less than the actual demand. Pakistan’s energy concerns are now assuming serious and horrific proportions because Pakistan has been suffering from an energy crisis for about half a decade now. The power crisis is becoming unbearable with every passing day proving to be a serious threat and impediment to the country’s economic progress. At present Pakistan is suffering from an energy deficit of about 4500 MW. This dismal state of affairs has led to the closure of many industrial units hence rendering a large number of people unemployed. Moreover, large parts of Pakistan have been affected by power blackouts due to an electricity crisis. Pakistan’s energy sector comprises major sources with a share of 50.4% of gas, followed by oil at 29%, hydroelectricity at 11%, and coal at 7.6%. Consequently, Pakistan imports energy to overcome the problem and maintain its standard of living of people. A major shortfall is expected in natural gas supplies. Pakistan had 28 trillion cubic feet of reserves of natural gas in 2006 but due to the increase in its demand, it is expected to be exhausted in the next two decades. The power outages have almost crippled the normal life of people and particularly hit industrial and agricultural production. To cut the long story short, Pakistan is at a critical juncture entangled with multifaceted problems. A pragmatic approach coupled with rational decision-making can show some light at the end of the tunnel.

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