ISLAMABAD : The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) said on Sunday that energy crisis cannot be resolved in absence of a pragmatic petroleum policy based on ground realities. Energy crisis would continue to hold economy as hostage and frustrate all attempts to provide jobs to youth unless contained through serious efforts, it said.  Demand of the natural gas has been rising since years while production cannot be enhanced satisfactorily due to lack of transparency, objectionable practices of gas explorers, inadequate incentives, red tapes, security problems in Balochistan and legal problems, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President of PEW.

 He said that genuine gas exploration firms are not getting backing of the government they deserve while gas import has remained high on agenda of policymakers.

Dr Murtaza Mughal said that imported gas would be up to 300 per cent costlier than the locally extracted gas for which no government or business but masses would have to pay.

He said that policy of accepting costly imported gas while ignoring locally available gas is beyond understanding.

Dozens of unfeasible gas fields would come online if prices are rationalised and gas companies are convinced to end scuffle to pave way for teamwork, he said.