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The News

Published Date: Jan 18, 2014

Body formed to develop shale gas

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has on Friday constituted a high-level committee to start working on shale gas development in Pakistan by engaging professionals of petroleum and gas sectors.

The committee, headed by Dr Gulfraz Ahmed, is tasked to develop shale gas in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute. The decision was taken in the second meeting of the advisory committee of the planning commission, says a press release.

The members of the advisory committee, hailing from the parliament, private sector and academia, highlighted the need to lay greater emphasis on the development of human resource and institutional capacity in Vision 2025. Otherwise, all our developmental efforts would hit a snag, said the release. The need to address, in the Vision 2025, issues like water scarcity, energy shortage
and climate change by building more water reservoirs, tapping alternative energy resources, such as shale gas, and putting in place effective flood control mechanism, was also highlighted in the meeting.

Energy
expert Arshad H Abbasi said, “We can make Pakistan an energy surplus country in the future by tapping this tremendous resource.” Federal minister said, “Planning commission’s role is to figure out emerging challenges to the country in various economic sectors by spotting opportunities that can be harnessed in future to make the country grow on a fast trajectory.”

He said, “Collaboration of public sector, private sector and academia holds key to our success. Pakistan needs to grow at over seven percent annually to achieve the goal of becoming an upper middle income country.”

It was decided
that the committee would meet every two months to brainstorm emerging development challenges of the country. In the next committee meeting, members will deliberate on opportunities in governance and agriculture related issues.