Global Energy Crisis and Pakistan

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Muhammad Sharif Otho
In post-pandemic times, the world faces yet another global dilemma – penury of the energy resources. To dig deep, COVID-19 brought human activity to standstill ; transportation, industry , commerce and nearly all the sectors which needed oil to run had shutdown. It devalued energy resources. At the peak of covid chaos, value of per barrel oil had dropped into minus. It was as if the oil producing companies had to give money and oil both to the customer. Eventually, dust started to settle and people adjusted in accordance with the new lifestyle of post-pandemic world . Industries , transportation and commerce were started from scratch to compensate for the loss inflicted on the owners by the Covid recess. Countries , too worked even harder to stabilize their economies. This led to unpredictable and unprecedented demand of energy resources. Resultantly, the price skyrocketed. One barrel of oil rose from 35 US dollars to 83 $ in no time. According to demand and supply laws , the increasing demand increased value of the resources which broke all previous records of price hike. Where does Pakistan stand amid energy crisis is the point to ponder over. Pakistan imports most of its energy resources which run the entire country. Only 20% need of oil is fulfilled by domestic reservoirs , which also has to be refined either from froeign countries or companies that isn’t quite cheap and time-saving. So , there are all reasons to believe that the price hike in Pakistan is direct consequence of global crisis. But to say so would be simplistic version of truth – good for ears but not true to core. In seeing Pakistan from a panoramic viewpoint one might easily be taken away by the global version of truth but it would be a deceit . According to the WTI oil report, the current price of one barrel oil is $ 85. As one barrel consists of 158 liters , it becomes approximately Rs 14000. Hence , the international price of oil is around 92 rupees per litre , which is indeed costly. But this proves the global version of truth invalid in Pakistan. Even if the government imposes pertinent tax on oil , the current Herculean rate is unjustifiable. In correspondence to it, the incumbent PM had proclaimed in his election campaign that unjustifiable price hikes were direct result of corrupt custodians of public offices, particularly the Prime Minister. Additionally , it only benefits the market owners and tycoons, whereas the laymen are left to suffer. To conclude , the economy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the well-being of its citizens relies on oil since it runs all the businesses. From a sole trader to public and private co-operations , all require oil to make both ends meet. Therefore, the government must keep the price affordable for all and sundry. Else it would not only freeze the bread and butter of the common man but would also adversely affect the country’ economy which has hardly started to gain ground after Covid debacle. Moreover , Pakistan has to become proactive in its policy. Such crises are alarming bells to awaken the dormant reactive policy makers of Pakistan to shift their concern towards making Pakistan self-sufficient in energy resources.