Written By: Honorable Shaukat Aziz, ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan
2009: When I was asked to write a piece on the economic way forward, I hesitated at first because I felt that with a new government in place it is better that we leave the way forward to the new economic managers, rather than play the role of back seat drivers and provide unsolicited advice. But the mountain of criticism of the previous government policies from all sorts of arm chair critics, ranging from retired bureaucrats and economists of the cold war era, who still believe in the supremacy of state management of the economy and for whom Venezuela and Bolivia are the new role models, to Islamists who feel that the entire western global economic system is doomed and we need to chalk out a new paradigm – convinced me that perhaps the time had come to analyze the past and set the record straight, assess the current situation and contribute to the debate on the way forward.
Now that we have the political parties of the nineties back in power it can be instructive to examine a few economic indicators of the nineties with the past eight years and draw inferences. Since the economic growth numbers have been challenged by the critics. I will use numbers that are not subject to disagreement. So for example, if the GDP growth numbers are being challenged, than other growth indicators that the public can understand can show the reality. The official GDP growth from around US $ 65 billion in 1999-2000 to US$ 165 billion in 2007-08 (a factor of 2.5 times) is challenged as being fudged, but growth of credit to the private sector over the same time period from Rs 1 trillion to Rs 2.5 trillion, again a factor of 2.5 times, cannot be challenged.
By: Afreen Baig
Mirani Dam Inaugurated
Yahya Khan in the 1960’s, our governments failed to conceive and initiate major electricity projects.
The inept governments of PML-N and PPP, that still consider themselves vital to democratic dialogue within the provinces, failed to create dialogue within provinces, on the most important issue facing Pakistan’s energy survival – the Kalabagh Dam. Their governments failed to plan for the future growth and energy requirements. Recently the government of PPP has scraped the project altogether.
Unexpected Economic Boom & Energy Consumption in the last 10 years
Pakistan’s $75 billion economy boomed into a $160 billion economy, with the consumption of gas, electricity and coal increasing YEARLY to an average rate of 7.8 percent, 5.1 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively.
The number of electricity consumers grew from 15.9 million in 2005-06 to 16.7 million in 2007, showing a growth of about 70 percent over the last 10 years.
The major Energy consumption sectors of the country are: Industrial (38.3 percent), Transport (32.8 percent), Residential and Commercial (25 percent), Agriculture (2.5 percent) and others (2.2 percent).
As regards Electricity, the Household sector has been the largest consumer over the last 10 years, on average consuming 44.8 percent, followed by Industrial sector (29.4 percent), Agriculture (12.2 percent), Commercial sector (5.9 percent), Street lights (10.6 percent), the officials say.
Courtesy: South Asia Investor Review
Pakistan and Germany have initiated serious discussions of German funding of eight ongoing and new hydropower projects worth billions of dollars. These talks are taking place in Islamabad between visiting German Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development Ms. Heidemaire Wiegoreak Zeul and Pakistani Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Mr. Shaukat Tarin, according Business Recorder newspaper.
The projects currently under discussion include 621 MW Palas hydropower project, 567 MW Spat Gah hydropower project, 28 MW Basho hydropower project, 33 MW Harpo hydropower project, 70 MW Lawi hydropower project, Naigaj hydropower project and 300 KW Hingol hydropower project, 43 KW Kurram Tangi Dam. As a start, the German Economic Minister said her country had already committed finances for Keyal Khwar hydropower project located in NWFP on river Indus at Dasu. The project would generate 130 MW power. The focus of many of these development projects are the rural areas in the North West Frontier Province and the least developed federally administered tribal areas of the country affected by insurgencies.