Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif speaks during an event in Karachi. Twitter photo
Amid rising oil consumption and import bill owing to higher international prices, the Pakistan government, led by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, is mulling the possibility of fuel conservation through reduced working days a week, hoping to save an estimated annual foreign exchange of up to $2.7 billion.
The estimates are based on three different scenarios in terms of working days and fuel conservation prepared by the State Bank of Pakistan for foreign exchange savings of $1.5 billion to $2.7 billion, Dawn news reported.
Pakistan’s total oil import during the first 10 months (July-April) of the current fiscal year (FY22) has gone beyond $17 billion, showing a massive 96 per cent growth compared to the same period last fiscal year. This includes import of petroleum products worth $8.5 billion and petroleum crude of $4.2 billion, showing 121 per cent and 75 per cent surge, respectively.
A senior government official said the relevant authorities from the power and petroleum divisions had been advised to come up with their estimates also including electricity conservation to take up the matter in a holistic manner with cost benefit analysis of various sectors before reaching a conclusion. He said the central bank’s estimation mostly covered POL (petroleum products) consumption in normal working days a week, including retail business and government offices and educational institutions, which in any case would be on summer holidays. It did not take into account LNG imports which mostly go into the power sector, reports Dawn news.
These estimates suggest that additional petroleum products POL consumption for one more working day a week would cost the nation about $642 million in terms of commuting, which do not include freight and transportation. Conversely, reduced consumption with one less working day a week provides an annual saving of about $2.1 billion.
In the first case based on four working days and three holidays in which retail is open like a weekend, the average POL saving is estimated at $122 million a month or $1.5 billion a year. Ninety-per cent of oil consumption is assumed for working days and the remaining 10 per cent for holiday in a month, Dawn reported. In the second case based on four working days, two holidays and one day of lockdown (retail to remain closed for one day), the saving in the shape of reduced oil import is estimated at $175 million a month or $2.1 billion a year.
In the third scenario based on four working days, one holiday and two days of lockdown (commercial activities to remain off for two days), the POL saving in import bill could be around $230 million or about $2.7 billion.
The British Pakistani businessman said the bus campaign is aimed at re-introducing foreign investment in Pakistan. The buses will be running on London’s 43 busiest routes, covering the entire length and breadth of the city, from early morning till midnight in both directions, it said.
Prime minister said that we will have to think beyond personal interest for the country's progress and development. He hailed the philanthropists who set up and run trust hospitals for the needy and ailing humanity.
In his message on 'Youm-e-Takbir,’ he said, "Today in 1998, then prime minister Nawaz Sharif rejected pressures and inducements in a bold show of leadership and made Pakistan nuclear power of the world. Now we are resolved to turn it into an economic power."
The German research firm in its report titled "Expat Insider 2022" said that the UAE achieved advanced positions in four key pillars and 11 indexes, out of five pillars and 17 indexes.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid's office said the diplomatic development will see ambassadors and consuls general posted to the two countries once more.
London Underground trains were disrupted, as were overground trains to London Bridge and Southwark. "The fire is spewing thick smoke, and people who live or work in the area are advised to close their windows and doors,"
Speaking at the press conference held at EWINGS’ headquarters to introduce the two winners to the attending journalists, Farid Samji, CEO of EWINGS, operator of Mahzooz said: “Participants from India and the Philippines top the list of our players respectively.