Govt adamant on strengthening domestic energy generation: Khurram Dastgir

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DNA

ISLAMABAD, JAN 20: Minister of State for Energy Khurram Dastgir said that current government prioritised generation of energy from domestic resources such as hydel, solar, wind, coal and the new deal to  minimise reliance on imports . He was speaking at the concluding session of the 2nd Regional Dialogue 2023 organized by the Institute  of Regional Studies here on Thursday. He said that the government  was also working on activating wind corridors in Balochistan for energy creation. The government  intended to fulfill energy needs while adhering to the SDG commitments and using domestic coal instead of imported coal, he added. The Minister said that there was a need  for appropriate  advocacy on energy conservation as it was likely to remain expensive for the foreseeable future and was imperative for economic growth.

Previously, the second day of the Regional Dialogue 2023 featured discussions on contemporary  nontraditional challenges confronting the region, climate change and food security and industrial  development  and technological innovation. Discussing the potential areas of development,  Haroon Sharif, former Minister of State said that Pakistan  needed to aggressively focus on governance  issues, low productivity and the growing challenge of underutilised  youth faculties. He stressed the need to invest more in knowledge-based and cultural aspects in addition  to augmenting CPEC infrastructural development in sync with relevant policy and institutional frameworks.

Dr Sabina Durrani, DG Population  Planning Wing while deliberating  upon the challenge of rising population  growth rates said that the disharmony between available resources and the current growth rate was highly alarming and required multi-sectoral interventions on part of governments in the region. Health and population  were interlinked and while Pakistan did possess a reasonable health infrastructure, low budget allocation  for its sustenance was a major factor behind the hiccups in the system, she added.

Dr Shumail Daud Arain said that while there was a clear burden on the urban areas due to reasons of better access and facilities, the disintegration  of the health system had led to increased governance  and fiscal problems.

While discussing the growing challenge of food insecurity , Abhas K. Jha, Practice Manager Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, South Asia Region World Bank, said that Pakistan  bore the potential  to become an agricultural  powerhouse by repurposing subsidies and using resources to support transformative on-farm investments.

Other worthy speakers from the three sessions from day 2 of the Dialogue included Ms Aisha Khan, Ms Florence Rolle, Mr Arif Goheer, Ms Afia Salam, Mr Ahsan Javed, Dr Salma Malik and Mr Javaid Iqbal among others.