Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) held an exclusive talk titled “Revitalizing Pakistan’s Energy Sector and the Crucial Role of CPEC” on Thursday here at a local hotel in Islamabad. Mr. Ziad Alhadad the former Director Operations of World Bank delivered the keynote address. As he has managed many projects on energy and helped set up the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program along with publishing many articles with respect to the Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) for Pakistan. Therefore, the talk was of immense importance.
In his keynote address, Zia Alhadad described the issues faced by the country including growing energy deficit despite a substantial energy resource base, spiraling circular debt, exclusion of non-commercial energy in economic plans, absence of an integrated forestry and fuelwood policy, institutional weaknesses within subsectors and fragmented policy level institutional structure, inadequate provision for pro-poor and environmentally friendly energy policy, and legacy of lost opportunities. He said that in order to solve these issues there was a dire need to build capacity and improve governance.
He said that CPEC is the largest consolidated program of energy investment in Pakistan that focuses primarily on indigenous energy sources along with introducing solar and wind power at a scale never before undertaken in Pakistan. “If managed correctly, it is a windfall and turning point for Pakistan, if not, it will be a liability of immense proportions”, he remarked. Mr. Alhadad proposed that with IEP, a judicious implementation of energy initiatives under CPEC and a firm resolve to tackle Pakistan’s broader endemic economic problems, we can finally move from the troublesome short-term to a bright future.
SPO arranged this exclusive talk by taking into account the fact that Pakistan stands at a critical juncture with the advent of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The energy component of CPEC represents the largest investment in the history of the country’s energy sector. CPEC is not about investment alone. Its success depends on the country’s ability to address its persistent economic problems.