Trade: (Increasing oil prices to put pressure on forex reserves)

ISLAMABAD:Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Monday said oil prices are rising in the international market which will increase pressure on forex reserves.

Rising oil prices will add to the deficit while hiking the cost of electricity which will damage production and exports, it said.

Time has come to reduce reliance on imported oil and gas to generate electricity and make dams for cheap electricity, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt in a statement issued here.

He said masses should vote for the party which promises to build dams across the country on a war footing. Delay in the construction of dams is increasing reliance on fossil fuel creating problems, he said adding that 197 million acre of land in cultivable in the country but only 52 million acre is used due to the scarcity of water.

The scarcity will increase as the two mega reservoirs of the country have little time left to serve while the groundwater has become scarce.

He said many new power stations have been established but some are useless that include a solar park on which billions of rupees have been wasted which merits probe.

The former government has established a number of power plants but avoided to upgrade existing power stations which would have increased production of electricity.

The cheap option was ignored and costly method was adopted which helped many to fill their pockets in the garb of settling power crisis, he noted.