There is no doubt that the economy of a country runs on its energy resources. In the past, our governments, blinded by immediate necessity and foreign lenders’ pressure opted to sign contracts of perennial nature with the IPPs to produce unaffordable, costly electricity, from fossil fuels. This ultimately resulted in bankrupting our economy and an utter shortage of electricity, a phase through which we are still passing.

Petroleum products are traded as commodities, by the international traders and are subject to wild price fluctuations through speculation. Gasoline’s prices are also used for strategic purposes, in the field of international relations. For example, it was being traded at US$ 120 per barrel when the Ukraine problem started. The Western powers asked Russia to toe their line but Russia refused to do so. In order to punish Russia, whose economy depended heavily on its oil exports, the price of oil has been brought down to US$ 47/barrel today. Once the Ukraine problem is resolved one way or the other, its price is likely to rise again and soar to new heights. This may happen anyway, for this reason or another.

According to reports, our government is going to shift our economic dependence on imported LNG. I urge the government to use restraint in framing rules of contract to keep the power of revising rules of contract whenever it deems necessary within its own hands, for all times to come, to save the country from a second disaster. In any case, the focus of the policy to produce electricity should be diverted entirely to cheap sources of primary energy.

ALI IMRAN,

Muzaffargarh, February 11.