A rise in global coal prices and the government’s decision to permit the use of Afghan coal in power generation have caused a 484 percent increase in the import of coal from Afghanistan to Pakistan during the first quarter of 2022–23.
According to official records, the total amount of coal imported during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2022–23 (July–September) increased to $107 million from $18.30 million during the same period the previous fiscal.
The decision by the Pakistani government to permit the use of Afghan coal in domestic power production has led to an increase in the import of coal from that country. As coal imported from other areas of the world was more expensive than coal mined in Afghanistan, the decision was made to reduce the cost of generating from coal-based power plants.
As the payment was made in Pakistani rupees, the decision also helped ease the strain on the nation’s foreign exchange reserve. The documents state that from September 2022 to September 2023, the amount of coal imported from Afghanistan rose from $6.52 million to almost $50 million.
When compared to the same month last fiscal year, the import of other coal increased by 702 percent, from $3.39 million to $27.22 million.