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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

South Asian states urged to develop cooperation in energy

South Asian states urged to develop cooperation in energy

Senior economist Dr Akmal Hussain has stressed upon the South Asian countries to develop co-operation in the field of energy and share their energy recourses by establishing a South Asian grid.
He also said Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan have lot of potential of generating power and these countries are capable of fulfilling the energy needs of the whole region.

Akmal was addressing a seminar on energy crisis organised by South Asia Free Media Association (Safma) on Friday. Akmal said that Pakistan's biggest problem in the power sector is circular debt and the government should arrange eight billion dollars to pay the debt. He also said Pakistan should also buy electricity from Iran and India to meet its need.

While quoting the data of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Akmal said 68 per cent losses are line losses, including power theft. He said Pakistan is producing 70 per cent electricity from thermal and only 30 per cent from hydel. We should construct small dams so that we can generate cheap hydel electricity, he added. Speaking on the occasion, senior economist Dr Ijaz Nabi said if we want to solve the problem of circular debt then there should be no subsidy on electricity and we should take steps to make power companies profitable. He said there is a concept in South Asia that cheap electricity is the right of every person and we need to change this concept. Electricity and gas should be given to the industries on priority basis, he added.

Energy expert, Dr Omar said after paying the circular debt we should introduce two slabs of rates, normal rate and peak time rates. He said during peak time rates should be more and industries will get electricity without interruption. He said the government should take steps to generate power from coal, adding that it is a wrong perception that electricity produced from solar and wind is cheap.