Pakistan cannot win war against loadshedding sans Kalabagh dam: Chairman ICCI

Says import of LNG great accomplishment of the Government

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the Chamber of Small Traders and former president ICCI Dr. Shahid Rasheed Butt on Tuesday said Pakistan cannot win war against loadshedding in absence of Kalabagh dam (KBD).

He asked the government to ditch projects worth billions to revive outdated dams and construct KBD that require less capital and has more lifespan.

Speaking to the business community, he said that import of LNG would be a great achievement of the government and the private sector which will save investments to the tune of billions, provide jobs to millions and reduce intensity of energy crisis.

He said that further reduction in Asian LNG prices in the second half as per the projections would require ECC to exempt importers of from paying import duty.

There is no harm in revisiting the LNG development model due to emerging challenges in the larger national interest, he stressed.

Dr. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that Tarbela Dam has already lost 30 per cent capacity to 6.6 million acre feet to silting which has left government with little option to delay construction of KBD, one of the most viable projects in Pakistan.

Our per capita water availability had already gone below 975 cubic metres per person from 5100 cubic meters forty-five years back which is a great threat to industry, agriculture and masses.

The veteran business leader said that Mangla Dam revolutionised agriculture, Tarbela increased water supply to the canal network by 25 per cent while Sindh got an additional seven million acre feet of water.

KBD will not only help Sindh but also support agriculture in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and block floods, he added.

KBD is neither a technical nor a political issue, rather it is a humanitarian matter related to national survival, said Butt.

INP/AJ

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