ISLAMABAD, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( ICCI) welcomed the interest shown by Russian Federation in TAPI and Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline projects which could ultimately help in overcoming the prevailing energy crisis in the country.
Asad Farid, Acting President ICCI appreciated the decision of Russian Federation regarding cooperation in TAPI and IP projects. The completion of the energy projects would bring industrial revolution in the country and Government could also save on imports of furnace oil which is currently being used in increased quantities to fuel power generation because of the shortage of gas, he said in a press release issued here on Friday.
Farid said that delay in fulfillment of export consignments has become a matter of routine due to power outages, adding that to meet the growing demands of energy, Government should execute these energy projects which would make the country self-reliant.
He expressed his concern over soaring oil import bill by 43.52 per cent to reach $12.583 billion during the first ten months of the outgoing financial year 2011-2012 against $8.768 billion in the same period of last year. He said that oil imports comprise almost 40 percent of Pakistan’s total import bill that resulting in a huge trade deficit thus puts pressure on the local currency. He was of the view that government could also curtail oil import bill by timely execution of TAPI and IP projects.
He said that with every passing day the country is sinking deeper and deeper into economic mire that needs an economic stimulus plan to get it back on track. He said that any further increase in oil import bill would fuel inflation in the country and disturb the balance of payments. Therefore, Government should welcome Russian interest in energy projects as our country needs a quantum jump in electricity and gas generation to bridge supply and demand gap, he added.
He said that government should also strive hard to attract other foreign investors by giving them lucrative incentives to invest in energy projects in Pakistan, aiming to bring down expensive oil-based energy generation in the country.