Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday welcomed the decision of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to use Thar coal to benefit the country.
Thar has175 billion tonnes of coal reserves that contain more energy than the combined oil and gas reserves of Saudi Arabia and Iran but it is still untapped, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that with the coal buried in Thar, Pakistan can not only met its energy needs but also earn huge foreign exchange by selling electricity to neighboring countries, but this project has never caught the full attention of leaders in the past.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif wants to reduce the oil import bill by reducing the dependence on imported fuel through Thar Coal, which is commendable.
By making 1200 megawatts of electricity in Thar, two billion dollars will be saved this year, while six billion dollars can be saved next year, which can start a new era of development in Pakistan.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that currently high-grade coal is being imported for power plants and factories, which is a waste of precious foreign exchange. Power plants and factories can also be run on local coal but the efforts in this regard are not satisfactory and need to be increased.
If Thar Coal had not been politicized, coal would have been produced on a large scale, local coal would have been protected from price fluctuations in the global market, and at least 10 to 12 thousand megawatts of electricity would have been generated from coal, he noted.
The import bill would have been reduced by twenty-five percent and the most backward area of Thar would have been developed if this project was given proper attention.