Unsustainable Energy Mix.

As the rupee continues to slide and hit record lows, the burden on the country's fuel import bill continues to rise. The economic pressure on the country can be gauged from the fact that the Net International Reserves (NIRs) stand at less than $10 billion, which provides an import cover of just six weeks. The pressure on the currency is expected to rise further as the IMF loan disbursement is anticipated around mid-August.

However, the IMF loan should not be viewed as a permanent fix because the disbursement along with the prospective cash deposits will only provide limited breathing room as far as the import cover is concerned. Despite this, the country is forced to import record high oil products and crude, both in volume and value terms. The current situation is concerning and unsustainable and experts are of the view that the country immediately needs low-cost electricity generation from indigenous coal or other fossil fuels on a large scale. Pakistan does possess immense reserves of about 185.5 billion tons, and even utilizing half of these would be of immense help in terms of electricity generation. The use of indigenous coal will also provide a greater stimulus for economic development and revenue generation.

As far as local oil and gas exploration firms are concerned, they...

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