LAHORE - Former Economic Advisor to Prime Minister Dr Salman Shah said the PPP and ANP were opposing the construction of Kalabagh Dam. Speaking at the Pre-Budget Seminar of The Nation in Lahore on Saturday Dr Shah said the KBD cannot be built until and unless the PPP and ANP stop opposing this mega water reservoir project. He said the construction of Kalabagh Dam on one hand would ensure energy and food security while on the other, it would enable the country to generate employment. He said the reservation and fears about raising the dam from Sindh were imaginations and not based on reality and claimed that the construction of dam would turn Sindh into food basket. He painted a dooms day scenario of global economic conditions in next five years, predicting that the oil prices would rise to $200 and wheat would be sold at $1,000 per tone by 2013, which the country could not afford and needed energy independence. He also claimed that the electricity crisis in the country was the outcome of the mismanagement and not because of the shortage of the electricity. He said the energy sector circular debt was leading to unscheduled and hours long loadshedding in the country that can be eliminated through good governance. To handle the insecure economic future of the country, he said, Pakistan needs some bold steps and raising new water reservoir is the boldest step the high-ups of country should take to handle the future economic situation. He said that five water reservoirs had been approved under water vision in which Kalabagh Dam is the only water reservoir that could be completed within five years i.e. till 2013, if work starts right now. However, Bhasha Dam needed eight years and will complete in 2017 and Neelum-Jehlum will complete till 2016, he added. Kalabagh Dam is more potential project through which we could produce cheaper electricity i.e. Rs1.70 per unit, while on the other we will have sufficient water which will help us to bring more and more land under the plough, he said adding that Sindh would be the major beneficiary of the water as it could turn into a food basket. Dr. Salman Shah said that there was dire need of creating more and more job opportunities to reduce poverty from the country and stop urbanisation. Recalling the financial position of the country during General Musharraf regime when he was advisor for finance, Dr. Shah said that the economy was flourishing at that time, the construction and engineering industries were booming, agriculture sector was progressing, FBR had gone up from Rs300 billion to a trillion rupees, stock exchange had reached to highest level of 16,000 points and the wheel of industrial sector kept on rising and Pakistani rupee remained stable in the exchange market. Quoted from IMF report, He further said that transition to new government, higher oil prices and excessive bank borrowing in the interim period played havoc with the economy, which started downward journey, capital inflow turned into outflow, cash reserves reduced at an alarming level and resultantly country dropped into the lap of IMF. He said that it was wrong presumption that power loadshedding was the result of less generation capacity rather it was due to non-payment to PSO, IPPs and DISCOs. Talking about higher inflation rate, he said that benefits of lower oil prices were not passed on to the people so that the inflation rate remained high.