Pakistan PM Instructs Pak Rupees to Be Used As Dealing Currency for Coal Import from Afghanistan
In a bid to produce cheap electricity to provide relief to domestic consumers and industries, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday directed the authorities concerned to import coal from Afghanistan and deal currency to be Pak Rs, the Pakistani DAWN news agency reported Tuesday.
According to DAWN, presiding over a meeting, Shehbaz Sharif has approved the import of high-quality coal from Afghanistan in rupees instead of dollars to save the country’s precious foreign exchange.
“This will not only generate cheap electricity but also help save the country’s precious foreign exchange,” was quoted by the Prime Minister Office as saying.
Shehbaz Sharif has ordered improvement in the transportation of coal to be imported from Afghanistan. He has also directed the Ministry of Railways to take all necessary measures to ensure prompt delivery of the imported coal to power plants, DAWN reported.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister was informed that the import of coal initially required for Sahiwal and Hub power plants from Afghanistan would save over $2.2 billion annually in the import bill.
Expressing concern over the rising price of coal in the international market, the prime minister termed it the main reason for the costly power generation from coal-based power plants in the country.
This comes when the Taliban has not yet gained legitimacy and the group’s interaction with the international community has been a matter of question.
The international community has cut off the direct interaction with the Taliban and the funds are being injected into Afghanistan via NGOs programs. The investment strategy of the donor community has shifted from infrastructure promotion to survival strategy, providing humanitarian assistance in the form of cash or minor livelihood promotion projects to save the people from starvation.
A ton of coal used to be 7000-9000 AFN in Afghanistan markets, but with this move of the Taliban by exporting and extracting the mine very irresponsibly, the price has doubled in the market while still, the season for coal usage is not that high within Afghanistan. As soon as the season starts, the price would be out of control and it will for sure create another challenge for the citizens of Afghanistan.
The Taliban have failed and do not have the capacity to form a responsive government. All the infrastructures built during the past 20 years in the verge of collapse. The financial system in the country has collapsed.
Instead of defining strategic solutions to the financial matters, the Taliban have shifted their focus on poor people to finance their expenses through force ransom and tax collection from the poor people. Now with exporting coal to Pakistan, it has turned to another appealing source for financing their illegitimate government.
If the irresponsible export of the coal continues, it will for sure pose challenges for the people during the peak demand season in the winter.