Minutes of Meeting held with President SOPREST on Precautionary measures from Corona Virus

A meeting was held on 13th March, 2020 at the Guest House of the GIK Institute under the chairmanship of Mr. Farid Rehman, President SOPREST. The Executive Director SOPREST, Rector GIK, the Pro-Rectors and other officers attended the meeting. Management of Corona Virus was the only agenda of the meeting. The Rector welcomed the President on his first visit to the Institute after his election as President SOPREST/ GIK.

Mr. Farid Rehman, the President SOPREST talked about the importance and critical nature of the disease, actions taken in different universities around the world and measures, both preventive as well as remedial, adopted for effective management of the disease. He stated that the outbreak of Corona Virus has been declared a public emergency of international nature in view of its spread in a large number of countries and the risk of exposure of large section of populations to this virus. He emphasized the urgent need for the measures required to be taken to prevent the entry and spread by the students, faculty and staff etc. in view of their exposure within and outside the campus.

The other associated matters including emergency response management, preparedness at the hospital and in the campus, restrictions on the students/ residents for reducing the human contact so as to minimize the disruption and for their protection. He declared full support of SOPREST for undertaking all sort of measures essentially required by the Institute in this regard.

Mr. Jehangir Bashar, Rector GIK Institute informed that GIK Institute is actively monitoring the situation and various measures have been adopted including procurement of requisite equipment and materials i.e. thermal guns and masks and other kits, steps for improvement of overall sanitation and hygienic conditions in the Institute by installing new dustbins covering most areas of the campus. The President was informed that the following actions have already been taken ever since the outbreak of the disease;

Frequent meetings were held for conveying seriousness of the sickness to the faculties and staff/ students, regular inspections of restaurants and other public places to create awareness about importance of sanitation and hygiene, spreading information about the preventive and remedial measures, general preparedness to face any emergency situation, construction of isolation ward, training of staff and installation sanitizers, soap dispensers etc.

The Rector further informed the participants that a special campaign has been launched for creating the awareness about the disease, its symptoms through messages on emails, uploading on Institute’s website, placement of banners and posters etc. Besides, a special cleaning campaign and fumigation has been done at the campus to avoid spread of viruses.

The medium to long term measures planned to be taken were also brought to the notice of the participants that included the following;

  • Fully equipped Medical Centre for initial treatment
  • Trained staff to meet the emergencies
  • Development of emergency management SoP
  • Continuous awareness campaigns for information of all concerned including lower staff
  • Distribution of pamphlets
  • Improvement of general sanitation conditions of faculties, offices, residential and market area
  • Remaining vigilant about evolving scenarios of the disease
  • Strict enforcement of all preventive and remedial measures through aggressive communication with the residents
  • Continuous efforts to control any sort of infection to the residents

The video conference held by Chairman HEC with all Vice Chancellors on 12th March, 2020 was also discussed. The Rector informed that government may consider the closure of the universities for some time. In such eventuality, the students ‘learning and other programs will be adversely affected. Such situation may warrant the other measures like online teaching. It will require timely effort by faculties for content management, huge ICT Infrastructure such as software for online Learning Management System, communication, Hardware and other related measures.

Decision taken in the meeting of the Governing Council of the Institute held on 12th March, 2020 were brought to the notice of the participants. Pro-Rector (A) stated the serious efforts being made in this regard despite challenges for transition from present system to the online mechanism. The President advised the faculty to take the requisite steps on war footings in the interest of the students. For this purpose, collaboration with other universities such as Virtual University and few others already using the online Learning Management System may be planned so as to ensure that all classroom instructions are conducted virtually and related functions are performed remotely.

The matters relating to the future events like WRE, Open House of GIK, Pak-Turk Conference and Catalyst Startup Induction were also discussed. It was decided that such matters may be considered in the light of emerging scenario of the virus and in the meanwhile the Institute should strongly discourage the hosting or attending any non-essential large gatherings while the upcoming events could be considered for rescheduling. In this regard the inward/ outward visits should be curtailed and the residents be instructed to stay home. Besides, the arrangements should be made for conducting necessary test of the students returning to campus after the mid break and they should be informed well in time about such tests for avoiding any mismanagement or panic.

The university related travelling was also discussed and it was decided that exposure of the students and the families should be discouraged, non-essential travel should not be permitted and the employees may be urged to display extreme caution in their travel plans.

Mr. Shakil Durrani, Executive Director SOPREST advised that the Institute should continue its awareness campaign more rigorously and for this purpose, a special team may be formed for appropriate publicity of the measures taken for the knowledge of the students and their parents etc. he appreciated the work done so far and offered full support for meeting the expenditure requirements in connection with effective management of Corona Virus.

At the end of the meeting, the President urged that all possible arrangements should be made in the Institute including measures to handle and quarantine any infected individual in accordance with the federal, provincial and WHO regulations on the subject for effective response to any emergency situation. SoP developed for this purpose should be widely circulated for information of all concerned. He emphasized all members of the campus community to practice social distancing, adopt preventive and precautionary measures recommended by the authorities, behaviour and follow the safe and healthy practices about the underlined Corona Virus risks at their individual level also. The specific instructions and SoP should continue to be sent through campus vide communication with all important updates and should be followed in their letter and spirit.

TORs for SOPREST Working Group on Water Sector

  1. Improving water and crop productivity to international levels including addressing issues relating to water pricing and equity concerns of the poorer farmers.
  2. Analyzing the major causes of rising sea water intrusion on the Sindh coastline and recommending engineering solutions for dealing with it.
  • Taking stock of the lowered water aquifer in parts of the country particularly in Baluchistan and the agricultural plains of Punjab and suggesting remedial measures.
  1. Evaluating issues relating to the functioning of the telemetry system of water flows, improving water losses recording system and effective water accounting means.
  2. Studying the causes and impact of the major floods and recommending appropriate flood control measures including therein the upper reaches.
  3. Evaluating the impact of the thermal power development (oil, gas and coal) over the last quarter century by the Independent Power Producer (IPP) and State entities on the Renewable power generation sources such as water, solar and wind.
  • Ensuring the optimal functioning and restructuring of the Indus Basin Commission established under the Indus Basin Treaty 1960.
  • Devising means of giving practical effect to the Water Accord 1991.
  1. Recording for posterity the major concerns and developments in the water sector since the creation of Pakistan and profiling the infrastructural development and administrative decision by highlighting the successes and pinpointing the missed opportunities.

Synthesising Water Sector Issues and Way Forward

A core group Headed by Shams ul Mulk

 

After 1980s, water, energy and food sectors of Pakistan are not able to achieve their targets. Performance of these sectors remains low despite policy and strategic interventions, efforts to introduce new technologies and quite extensive experimentation in the management arenas.

With approval of National Water Policy in 2018, Pakistan has the full basket of policies; Climate Change policy, Food security Policy, Energy policy, environment policy, water and sanitation policy, etc, etc.

As pressure on water and land resources is increasing due to population growth and climate change impacts, success rate of the improvement-projects is decreasing (Ref WB current evaluation of WISP).

According to the global databases, Pakistan is among the nine highly vulnerable countries against hydrological disasters and among the fifteen high water stress countries. At the same time, productivity of water is low in all sectors, Pakistan’s highly water dependent economy doesn’t have ready alternatives and low water availability is projected by middle of the century. During the last couple of years, few reviews have been carried out (WB 2019, UNDP 1917, ADB 2018), all mentioning low performance a key issue and more challenges at the horizon.

With this background in mind, SOPREST has taken the following initiative.

Veteran water expert Eng. Shams ul Mulk Hilal-e- Imtiaz has been requested to organize and lead a Working Group of relevant professionals for a candid analysis and to prepare a report identifying the actions and way forward in the above mentioned three sectors.

Brief Tors of the Woking Group:

i            The group will work for a year. In the first meeting, the Group will select a name, define its structure, members and modus operandi

ii            In the first quarter, Working Group will prepare a brief report, i) highlighting the issues it will address in water, energy and food sectors, ii) detail operational plan for rest of the period specifying the tasks, responsibilities, partner organization if any, additional requirements, etc.

iii            The Final report will be submitted after a year. Based on groups’ deliberations, the president will be responsible to submit the report, covering the following tentative subjects, finalized in the first quarterly report.

o   A review of post-independence development phases:

  •     Pre-IWT 1947-60
  • Replacement works reservoirs 1960-80
  • Institutional Reforms, 1980 – 2000
  • Modernization/high efficiency -post 2000

o    Water distribution Accords – challenges, limitations, —

  • Indus Water Treaty with India (IWT 1960)
  • Water Apportionment Accord (WAA) among provinces – 1991

o   Institutional developments: post partition changes (WAPDA, AG. Depts, Extensions, PARC, others), regulatory issues, federal – provincial gaps, capacity of existing institutes, way forward

o   Preparing for the climate Changes impacts, disaster risks and future water and food security scenario

o   Water and Agriculture Resource base: persistent and emerging issues – telemetry, water audits, changing demand supply gap, aquifer decline and water logging, increasing inconsistencies in crop reporting —

o   Revenue and pricing issues – Sector specific perennial problems, declining revenue and provincial approach, public sector mechanisms

o   Review of water management interventions – participatory management, provincial initiatives, etc

o   Hydropower – a candid review

New President of SOPREST/ GIK Institute

The President of the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Pakistan (SOPREST) Engr. Shams ul Mulk, (Hilal-e-Imtiaz) has retired after heading the Trust for twelve years. He was a former Chairman of WAPDA and caretaker Chief Minister, KP.

It may be mentioned that SOPREST was created for espousing the cause of higher technical and engineering in Pakistan in 1988 by Mr. Ghulam Ishaq Khan with the support of a distinguished team of professionals and civil servants.

Later SOPREST, a ‘not-for-profit’ Trust, in 1993 established the Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology and now manages this Institute. Today GIK Institute provides graduate and post-graduate degrees in ten engineering disciplines apart from Management Sciences and Computer Sciences. During the current year the Institute would initiate graduate level degree programme in Artificial Intelligence and related subjects.

The General Council of SOPREST has elected Mr. Farid Rahman as the new President of SOPREST / GIK Institute. Mr. Farid Rahman has remained a member of the General Council / Board of Governors for nearly fifteen years.

Mr. Farid Rahman is an alumni of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the London School of Economics, and Political Sciences (LSE) and the University of Peshawar. Mr. Rahman joined the Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) in 1962 and served in various positions in the Government of Pakistan. He joined the United Nations in 1976 and held many senior positions in his 25 years international career. Mr. Rahman headed UNICEF operations as Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, supervising UNICEF assistance to 16 Country Offices of the Region. He also served as UNICEF Representative, to China, Mongolia, Sudan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.He was Director of the Planning office in UNICEF Headquarters at New York.

More recently, he has served the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as Minister for Finance, Planning and Development and Local Government. He was a Member of the Economic Advisory Council, and also served on Boards of various Public and Not for profit organizations, including the Board of the Privatization Commission of Pakistan: Pakistan Telecom (PTCL); Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO). He was Acting President of The Mahbubul Haq Human Development Centre for South Asia and a founder member of the Development Trust for Community Empowerment.  He has been an active member of the Governing Council of the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Pakistan (SOPREST) and the Board of Governors of the Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology for a number of years.

Issues in the Newly Merged Areas in KP

(Shakil Durrani)

 

The merger of the erstwhile tribal areas into the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province (KP) in my 2018 was correct and the only rational course available; the other three options were impractical and out of step with ground realities. The Sartaj Aziz committee report, competently steered by Secretary Safron, Arbab Shehzad, did a commendable job.

What was the need for merging the tribal areas into settled districts? There were two main reasons. Firstly, it became clear  post-Nine Eleven events that the writ of Pakistan was either absent in the tribal areas or was so feeble that outside elements with local support could firmly establish themselves to the detriment of the State interests. Secondly, came the realization that these areas needed to be ‘settled’ and brought at par with the more developed parts in terms of socio-economic development and employment generation.

To a purist a ‘settled district’ is one where formal land settlement through the record of rights forms the basis of land ownership and administration and revenue obligations.  Parts of the then Kurram Agency and the Daur areas of North Waziristan were thus ‘settled’ a hundred years back. There are other ‘settled districts’ like Malakand, Dir and Chitral and much of Baluchistan where land settlement has not taken place. Somehow today the merger of tribal agencies into settled districts, quite wrongfully, means adopting the settled districts civil and criminal courts justice system. Admittedly a major change has been brought about through the merger in administering these areas. The concept of “collective tribal responsibility’ for any infringement of law or usage has been replaced by direct personal responsibility of those responsible and is enforceable by the State. There was no alternative to this change as times and the tribal society have changed.

 The serious question to ponder is whether the adopted court system can deliver justice in the merged areas when it has largely failed for over one hundred and fifty years in the settled districts? (The new model courts hopefully may be different). The remedy is available as there is no need for applying one set of procedural law to all parts of the country. In the USA no two States have identical procedural or penal sections of law while for the ‘Indian’ tribes there are special indigenous laws again. There is absolutely no reason, constitutional or practical, why the newly settled districts cannot retain the ‘rewaj jirga’ as a procedural code, both for civil and criminal cases. Punishments would continue to be awarded under the Pakistan Penal Code which has been in force in the merged areas since long. The application of the Evidence Act would have to be graduated though.

The jurisprudence behind the ‘rewaj jirga’ system is different from that of the courts system in vogue in the settled districts. Moreover, the ‘rewaj jirga’ should not be confused with the annulled FCR system which was an amalgam of civil, criminal, preventative procedures with some penal provisions incorporated. The State-sponsored ‘rewaj jirga’ is similar in material ways with the US jury system except that the jirga members, as influential local notables, are permitted to adduce evidence. The ‘rewaj jirga’ only makes a recommendation to the presiding officer who pronounces the sentence or remands the case to another jirga. The State jirgas are also very different from the vindictive and vengeful vigilante ‘jirgas and panchayats’ of Sindh and Punjab and it is a travesty to even call these latter ones jirgas.

The police has rightfully been introduced into the new districts but assuming responsibilities should be undertaken gradually over a period of time. The existing Khassadars and Levies should form the basis of the new police force and future enlistment must recognize the rights of every tribe and sub tribe right down to ‘tappas’ and ‘kandis’. There is nothing novel about this as districts and tehsils even today have recruitment quotas. All new recruitments to the positions of upper and lower subordinates, including a proportion of the ASP/DSPs, should be from the former tribal areas.

Except for the police and the new court setup administering these merged districts there has been no change. The monitoring and management of line departments would remain as before. The greater the compliance with law and the customary usage the more ‘civil’ the society would become leading to economic growth and human resource development.

The role of the new deputy commissioner and his subordinates would remain strategic to the success of the merger. He along with the police would need to be in the forefront of all security, law and order, conflict resolution and development matters (the last named cause much conflict as it leads to local realignments). Arguments and dialogue resolve issues better than police rifles. The Frontier Corps and the Army would remain in the background and well away from direct interaction with the people as was the case in the past in the tribal areas. The country saw in Modal Town Lahore what happens when the armed law enforcement agencies interact with protestors directly in the absence of the buffer provided by magistrates.

Then there is the question about who watches the deputy commissioner? For one there should be an elected ‘nazim’ who of course would have no police or security responsibilities. (Even his own tribe would not brook it what to talk of others). The local district administration would be responsible to the administrative supervisory authorities under law right up to the Chief Minister. The State has established agencies/regulatory entities to monitor people and unlawful happenings. The Deputy Commissioner and Police are concerned with security and rights to life, liberty and property of the people; irrigation, public works, forests, utilities, municipalities are responsible for in their fields.

Where citizen feel that their rights are not being guaranteed there would be the legal option available to approach local officers, the ombudsman or the courts. The success here would determine how efficiently the merged areas function.

The other main issue today is the provision of additional financial resources amounting to 3% of the Divisible Pool funds totaling Rs 90-100 billion for the newly merged areas needs to be resolved early. All provinces must show magnanimity on this score. This would be in addition to the GOP’s initial grant of Rs 10 billion for Special Programmes during 2018-19 and the existing ADP of Rs 21 billion. Wapda’s projects like Kurram Tangi and Mohmand dams would be separately funded by GOP as these are all-Pakistan projects.

In order to ensure that the maximum amount of financial resources are absorbed in the erstwhile tribal areas the government’s construction and development agencies like the KP Works departments, the FWO or any specialised authority which undertakes the works should confine their overheads and establishment costs to under 5% of the total allocation. Further efforts be made in all projects to subcontract at least 50% of works to local tribal contractors. This is important as the tribes would benefit financially besides improving security and would aid the circulation of money.

The Ten Year Plan accords high priority to Human Resource Development, expanded Primary Education/Net Enrolment Ratio, provision of Health cover and access to Population Welfare activities and child spacing. Land use regulations and zoning laws would be required. A sustainable programme for drinking water/electricity is also included in the Plan but care be taken to ensure full cost recovery through billings. Unlimited subsidies is no solution. Implementation of the targets laid is never easy and the authorities must remain focused on achieving these.  Setting high aims without achieving these for want of funds or deviation from the target would be a national tragedy. The tribesmen have suffered enough; they now need an application of comforting balm.

CORRIGENDUM

 

Reference Tender Notice advertisement of Society for Promotion of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Pakistan (SOPREST) appeared in “The News” and “Jang” newspaper on 27th February, 2019.

For

  • The Competent Authority reserves the right to accept or reject any one or all proposals without assigning any reason(s) thereof.

Read

  • The Competent Authority reserves the right to accept or reject all proposals at any time prior to the acceptance of a bid or proposal and shall upon request communicate to any contractor the grounds for rejection of all bids.

 

Director (Project &Works) SOPREST

H.No. 534, Street No. 33, NPF, E‐11/3, Islamabad.

Ph. No.051‐22287

 

 

TENDER NOTICE

 

Society for Promotion of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Pakistan (SOPREST) invites sealed bids (Technical and Price Bids) on “Single Stage Two Envelope Bidding Procedure” for the Procurement & Fixing of Furniture & Fixtures at the New Academic Block of GIK Institute, Topi, from eligible firms, according to KPPRA Procurement Rules 2014.The Bid documents can be obtained from office of the undersigned during working office hours on submission of a written application and upon payment of a non‐refundable cost of Bid document in cash.

  • Each Bid must be accompanied by a BID SECURITY equivalent to 2% of quoted price in Pak Rs. Bid Security in the form of Deposit at Call or Bank Guarantee by a Schedule Bank in Pakistan, in favor of the Employer, are acceptable only. Any Bid not accompanied by an acceptable Bid Security, shall be rejected by the Employer being Non Responsive.
  • Bids should be delivered at or before 1200 hours on the 21 March, 2019 on the address given below.
  • Technical Bids will be opened at 1230 hours by the Bid Opening Committee on the same day in presence of the Bidders or their authorized representatives who choose to attend at SOPREST Office, Islamabad. Price Bids of the Bidders whose Technical Bids are determined substantially responsive will be opened at a later stage in presence of the Bidders or their authorized representatives who choose to attend, at the time which will be notified in advance.
  • Conditional, incomplete, overwriting & bid filled with lead pencils are not acceptable.
  • Pre‐Bid meeting will be held on 11 March, 2019 at 1100 hours in office of undersigned.
  • The Competent Authority reserves the right to accept or reject any one or all proposals without assigning any reason(s) thereof.

Director (Project &Works) SOPREST

H.No. 534, Street No. 33, NPF, E‐11/3, Islamabad.

Ph. No.051‐22287

 

SITUATION VACANT

 

The Society for the Promotion of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Pakistan (SOPREST) is committed to providing engineering and technological education of the highest academic standards and internationally –recognized professional excellence. Soprest invites applications from competent and experienced persons with leadership qualities and managerial skills for the position of Pro-Rector (Admin & Finance) to be stationed in the GIK Institute at Topi District Swabi, KPK. The applicant must hold a recognized Master’s degree preferably in Economics, Finance, Accounts or Management with 20 years service employment experience upto BPS-20 or equivalent from the private sector. The job entails experience in finance, accounts, store, budget, audit, personnel management, procurement, estate management, transport, security, human resource management and general administration.

 

Interested candidates preferably under 65 years of age and those highly recommended may send their CVs with photograph and copies of testimonials to the undersigned latest by 25th February, 2019. Age, experience and qualifications can be relaxed in exceptional circumstances. Only short-listed candidates will be called for interview.

 

Journey from the PM House to a university 

Published: December 31, 2018
The writer is a public policy adviser and research fellow having interest in public-sector governance, cities, and entrepreneurship. He tweets @navift

The writer is a public policy adviser and research fellow having interest in public-sector governance, cities, and entrepreneurship. He tweets @navift

Recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan formally inaugurated the process of converting the PM House into the Islamabad National University (INU). The journey of the PM House from being the centre of power, conspiracies and political manipulation to a seat of scholarship, learning and thinking would be somewhat bumpy and challenging. However, the PM’s resolve to make this university a role model gives hope that the INU may set new trends in Pakistan’s higher education system. This article presents a few ideas that may illuminate the path towards establishing this university.

The first and foremost importance should be given to the self-governance of the university. Pakistani universities have been performing poorly partly because of the bureaucratic and political interference at multiple levels. The government should avoid replication of the existing governance system of universities in the case of INU. The starting points should be to establish a Board of Trustees (BoT) of the university comprising of members of business community, international academia and notable intellectuals from Pakistan in key areas of focus. The BoT should develop standards of education and frame rules for functioning of the INU. The government should make every effort to appoint a capable, autonomous and professional BoT and let that board steer the process of establishment of the INU. Even the PM and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) should not intervene in the affairs of the university.

Secondly, the process of faculty hiring, and curriculum development is marred by bureaucratic and political interventions. The BoT should have the power to hire the vice-chancellor and deans but should not intervene in the hiring of faculty members. The faculty of each school/department should do the hiring and promotions on merit instead of the same being steered by the vice- chancellors in existing universities. Indeed, universities are known by their faculty, not by the glamour and design of their buildings. Earlier, an independent committee was formed to select the chairman of HEC and as a result we got the appointment of a visionary and capable Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri. The government should adopt the similar practice for the appointment of BoT and the vice-chancellor of the INU.

Third, in our universities departments operate in silos. They have hardly any focus on inter-disciplinary education. However, the real-world problems are not neatly stacked under disciplinary boundaries. We need a new generation of scholars who can draw knowledge from science, law, economics, sociology, political science and the humanities to solve current challenges faced by Pakistan. Moreover, most of our universities have little interactions with the society outside the walls of the universities. Professor Daniel Rich of the University of Delaware has popularised the concept of ‘engaged university’ and leading the community engagement initiative at the University of Delaware. This type of university is not only targeting the production of journal articles and imparting higher education to the elite segments of society, but the university is also supposed to provide critical knowledge and skills to the local communities to solve their crucial problems. The INU should also adopt this path.

Fourth, the INU should also focus on providing critical knowledge and support to the federal government for its policy formulation needs. However, a caution is needed that this function should neither undermine academic freedom nor the quality of discourse around public issues.

Fifth, our universities have the tendency to adding many departments without focusing on quality output. The INU should establish only a select schools and departments and create excellence in those few areas of study. It may consider establishing three schools and two to three departments/centres under each school. The suggested areas are the School of Life Sciences, the School of Global Affairs and the School of Cities and Public Policy. These three areas are least focused in our existing universities. The schools should focus initially on post-graduate education and thinking support to the government.

A focused dialogue on the above-mentioned five areas can help the government fulfil its promise of establishing the INU as a role model for other universities in Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2018.

 improving Governance in the Water sector

                                                                                                 (Shakil Durrani)

 Water scarcity in Pakistan is a factor of three essentials. The most serious one is the very high population growth rate; then there is huge  water wastage because of the poorly managed and inefficient use and lastly, there is the imperative to build new reservoirs. The first two issues mentioned which are critically important, are often ignored but need to be addressed urgently. All three are amenable to improved norms of governance.

We are told repeatedly that the per capita water availability is falling fast in Pakistan. What we are not told is that the main cause for the low availability per capita is the forbidding 2% population growth rate. No matter how many reservoirs we develop the available water per person would continue to diminish. In short then the answer lies in quickly achieving a ‘replaceable level population’. This means that there should be not be further addition to the total population of 210 million, a condition which has been achieved by some countries. Stabilized population numbers complemented by reduced water use through pricing at its real economic value for agricultural and non-agricultural use is the solution. Without taking these two bold measures water scarcity would continue to stare us in the face.

We are also aware that rapid urbanization has resulted in reduced per acre water availability for surface irrigation. This factor decreased water for crops by 3.9 percent till 2010-11 from the base year 2001 and may further reduce it by 10.4 percent by 2025. The total non-irrigation water use may double by 2025. According to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates, demand for water is projected to reach 274 million acre-feet (MAF) by 2025, while supply is expected to remain stagnant at 191 MAF, resulting in a demand-supply gap of approximately 83 MAF.

The estimates of water and sanitation requirements, of our largest city Karachi, speak of 1100 million gallons per day while only 480 million is available. The illegal mafia and the municipal officials therefore become wiling partners in the illegal hydrants business.  Lahore, Peshawar and above all Quetta are experiencing just as serious water shortages.

1. Improved Water Governance: Need for appropriate and sustainable water-dependent policies.

·        Aiming for a Replacement-level growth in Population

Pakistan’s current total population has soared to 207 million in 2017 with an average annual growth rate of 2.4 percent from calendar year 1998, as recorded in recently-concluded sixth Housing and Population Census. This number comprises 132 million rural and 75 million urban people with 106 million male and 101 million female population.

As per the provincial break-up, Punjab has population of 110,012,442 individuals with annual growth of 2.13 percent from the period 1998-2017. The total population of Sindh province stands at 47,886,051, a growth of 2.41 percent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has population of 30,523,371, showing average growth rate of 2.89 percent over a period from 1998-2017.The total population of FATA stands at 5,001,676, showing 2.41 annual growth rate. The current population of Balochistan is 12,344,408 million, showing growth of 3.37 percent. The total population of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has been calculated at 2,006,572 million with a growth of 4.91 percent.

The provisional results show an overall increase in population by 57% over the year 1998, while the population increased by 146.6 % since Census-1981. There is a decline in the population growth rate at national level and in Punjab and Sindh provinces, while an increase has been observed in the Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and FATA.

Pakistan has one of the highest population growth rates in the region. According to the World Development Indicators, the population growth rate in Pakistan stood at 1.95% in 2017. On the other hand, the population growth rate for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was 1.14% or below. With a population of 207 million Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world. This is a bane not a boon.

Fertility rate is 2.62 children per women in Pakistan, which is contributing to the rapid population growth. All other South Asian countries, except Afghanistan, have fertility rates close to the replacement level of 2.1, which is considered enough to maintain their population levels. With that, average number of children below the age of 15 years is 3.2. This suggests that the dependency ratio, the number of dependents (who are either between the age of 0 and 14 or are above the age of 65), is too higher to maintain sustained population growth. (Adil Nakhuda).

Successful family planning programmes demand serious involvement of the government in providing knowledge and easier access of modern methods to the targeted population. In Bangladesh, female outreach workers were crucial in providing door-to-door information, motivation as well as contraceptive items to married couples across the country. In Iran, the clergy played an important role.  One of the major reasons for the failure of family planning programmes in Pakistan is the apathy shown by successive governments and the conservative groups.

A population growth rate of nearly 2% annually is simply not sustainable for the country. Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy is right when he says that ‘only a miracle can now prevent Pakistan from becoming 400 million people in around 35 years’. This was to be expected because nothing reduces the population numbers than education especially for girls. The real adult literacy rate hovers around 60% and even this is assisted by a benign definition. A decline in literacy rate has been witnessed in Sindh, Baluchistan and Punjab while it remained stagnant in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) according to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2016-17. Even the government’s claimed current Net Enrolment Rate is no higher than 77% compared to 99% in Bangla Desh.

 Welfare and development programmes such as the various income-support programmes must ensure that the recipients not only receive knowledge and cash payments on but are also provided incentives to adopt modern family planning practices.

According to the data on out-of-school children published by UNICEF for December 2017, 61% of the children from poorer households are out-of-school. Considering that the larger households tend to be the poorest, several children belonging to larger families fail to attain basic primary education. In addition, government expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP was as low as 2.2% in Pakistan.

·       Need for effective water regulation and pricing

For avoiding water scarcity and ensuring its judicious use the presence of an effective regulatory framework in the irrigation sector is required. Canal water may be considered as an example of waste where irrigation water is unregulated and is available almost free of cost. This leads to blatant misuse of water by influential landowners in the head reach of outlets in connivance with the State’s agencies. High-valued deltaic crops like sugarcane and rice are soaked in unchecked and free flowing irrigation water which is carried hundreds of miles in canals from Himalayan storages at a cost that is external to the growers. In the rest of the world such high water-use crops are dependent on rainfall. Such misuse also leads to waterlogging and salinity as has been the case in parts of Sindh and Punjab where saline water levels have risen to within a few feet of the surface.

There is therefore an urgent need for improvement in water accounting and charging for its use. The inflow and outflow must be properly measured and assumptions of evaporation from water surfaces, infiltration to groundwater, and abstraction from the Indus River must be minutely calculated.

Presently water measurements in canals/distributaries is done casually and carelessly. Some canals are fed twice as much water as is recorded and very often the metering gauges are non-functional if not non-existent. Example of Upper Bari Doab Canal. In another canal it was noted that there was a wide difference in water gauge readings by two agencies one from the provincial irrigation department and another from a donor-aided project.  Unauthorized withdrawals from the upper reaches of Chashma Right Bank Canal is said to be endemic as is the case with the water share of Baluchistan which often gets diverted before it reaches the province.

The observations of Briscoe and Qamar (2005) are correct and “there is no higher priority for water management in Pakistan than to move aggressively in putting in place a totally transparent, impartial system for implementation of the (1991) Accord”. Three requirements would need to be met:

–         A rigorous, calibrated system for measuring water inflows, storages, and outflows be put in place;

–         The measurement system be audited by a party which is not only scrupulously independent and impartial but is seen to be so by all parties; and

–         Reporting must be totally transparent and available in real time for all parties to scrutinize.

Water pricing as an economic input is the way forward to prevent a crisis from developing. Currently it appears that farmers are increasingly growing more rice and sugarcane because the irrigation water is almost free while the output commands better prices than other crops. Without  education, awareness and importantly regulation on efficient  irrigation methods the wastage will continue.

It follows, therefore, that a country tethering on the edge of water scarcity ought to de-incentivise the growing of water-intensive crops. In practice, this means convincing the farmers that they will not be hit by a financial loss were they to switch to other crops.

The use of irrigation, industrial and domestic use water needs greater regulation and metering to be economically priced according to its scarcity to reflect the true cost to the society. Treating water as a public good has led to its under-pricing which in turn results in resource misallocation, misuse, shortages and theft. (Mohammad Asif Khan). Under-pricing makes the allocation of water for different competing purposes like agriculture, domestic, power, industrial, environmental and other uses also becomes problematic. There is the concern for equity and socio-political constraints while dealing with the poor and unprivileged sections of the community and adequate care would need to be taken.

The introduction of subsidy on electric tubewells has resulted in lowering of water table all over the Indus plain but drastically in Pishin-Lora, Nari and Zhob river basins of Balochistan. ‘Pancho’ system of irrigating rice fields which unnecessarily floods the field would need to be curbed immediately.

Unregulated water use over time leads to the problem of the declining water aquifer especially in the Punjab. Almost 55 million acre feet of water is being pumped out annually in the country but the recharge is up to twenty percent lower only. Subsidized electric-operated tube wells are the main culprits. The State-subsidized irrigation tube wells in Baluchistan have in a few decades sucked much of the subsurface water accumulated in the past centuries. Without a regulatory regime coupled with charging for this ground water use cannot be sustainable.

There is the immediate need to price water in economic terms except for the poor and deprived sections of the community. The price of water can conveniently be taken as the costs incurred including capital and O&M costs. For using water economically the O&M cost assessed as Rs 300 acre presently needs to be recovered. Currently a nominal service charge is recovered to meet O&M expenditure, which in Punjab, barely meets 45 percent of the O&M cost of the system. The farmer pays only Rs 4000 per month for an electric tubewell irrespective of the electricity consumption. The Abiana rates across the board have decreased considerably in real terms compared to the rates prevailing in 1970. In terms of produce equivalence, it is only 14 percent for wheat and 35 percent for sugarcane

 ‘Free water leads to lowered efficiency, inequitable distribution of water and inefficient cost recovery. To protect the economically marginalised sections of the society special consideration would however need to be provided to them.

–         For production sectors of the economy, full cost recovery shall be effected;

–         For social uses, the concept of affordability shall be applied; Where subsidy becomes inevitable, it shall be carefully estimated and the source of its financing would be clearly indicated and extent of subsidy shall be periodically reviewed and adjusted.

–         For environmental and ecological needs, water supply shall be free of cost.

The O&M cost per acre foot of water at farm head is Rs 146.6 or Rs 300 per command acre with an average allowance of 2.047 cusec per CCA acre. The prevailing Abiana rate of Rs 135 if recovered in full, will meet 45 percent of the O&M cost. The Abiana assessed is less than 2 percent of the gross revenues from crops. 954 Mohammad Asif Khan

 Prevailing water rate of Abiana charged for surface supplies in Punjab province is only 6 percent of the cost of pumping groundwater by diesel tubewell.  Compared with the diesel operated tubewells, the utilisation rate of electric tubewells is high and irrigation efficiency is low attributed to cheap water extraction due to subsidised power tariff

  The Abiana rates across the board have decreased considerably in real terms compared with the rates prevailing in 1970. In terms of produce equivalence, it is only 14 percent for wheat and 35 percent for sugarcane The increase in Abiana rates needs to be made progressively only to the extent of recovering O&M cost or Rs 300 per command acre considering the socio- political environment.

·      Improving water productivity

The next critical issue to be addressed after the development of human resources and water pricing consists in raising water efficiency to improve the productivity of the crops yields. According to a report released recently by the Pakistan Business Council, a business policy advocacy group, the crop yield per hectare of Pakistan’s agricultural productivity ranges between 29% and 52% lower than the world’s best averages for major commodities.  Pakistan produces 3.1 tons of wheat from one hectare, which is just 38% of the 8.1 tons produced in France which is the world’s best productivity. Similarly, the country produces 2.5 tons of cotton per hectare, which is 52% of the 4.8 tons produced in China. Sugarcane yield stands at 63.4 tons per hectare in Pakistan, which is 51% of the 125 tons Egypt produces from every hectare while maize productivity is estimated at 4.6 tons per hectare, 41% of the 11.1 tons that France is producing

Water has to be used wisely as it is scarce. It takes one liter of water to produce one kilocalorie of food. This means that each person consumes 3- 4000 liters of water, just for food. For that reason it is crucial to invest in water efficiency and enhancing water productivity through sprinklers and drip irrigation systems. Modifying cropping patterns to enhance water productivity through supplemental (targeted) irrigation as ‘protected agriculture’ needs to be adopted. Field trials in several countries have shown massive increases in wheat and barley yields with small quantities of supplemental irrigation: yield increased from 1.25 tons per hectare to 3 tons per hectare in Syria, 4.6 to 5.8 tons in Morocco, and from 2.2 to 3.4 tons per hectare in Iran.

Water harvesting is an effective, low-cost technology to conserve every last drop of available moisture. In the drylands, there is scope for harnessing traditional knowledge developed over generations by rural communities. Examples include underground cisterns, flood harvesting systems, and basins for collecting water and channeling it for household use and horticulture. Many dryland countries have a strong tradition of water storage. By building on these technologies, the resilience and adaptability of rural communities can be further strengthened.

Growing high water use deltaic crops like sugar cane and rice needs proper regulation. Prosperity brought by high water-need crops has meant that more farmers have preferred planting more and more rice and sugarcane.

The Pakistan Economic Survey, 2017-2018 notes that while rice was sown over 2,724 thousand hectares last year, it rose to 2,899 thousand hectares this year. “Higher domestic prices and availability of inputs on subsidised rates, good advisory along with increase in export,” according to the survey, contributed to more land being used to grow rice. This 6.4 percent increase ultimately yielded a production high of 7,442 thousand tonnes. Last year, 6,849 thousand tonnes of rice were produced in Pakistan.

The survey also shows that sugarcane was cultivated on an area of 1,313 thousand hectares, an increase on last year’s area of 1,218 thousand hectares. “Good economic return encouraged the growers to bring more area under cultivation and [so did] comparatively timely payments from sugar mills last year,” explains the survey. This 7.8 percent rise in acreage translated into a 7.4 percent hike in production: from 75.482 million tonnes to 81.102 million tonnes.

There is a downside to this development as well. More water is utilised in growing these water-intensive crops. For instance, sugarcane requires 1,500-2,500mm of rainfall (or water from other sources) to complete the growth cycle. In other words, to produce a kilo of sugarcane, between 1,500 and 3,000 litres of water are utilised. Similarly, at 0.45 kilograms per cubic metre, Pakistan’s rice water productivity is 55 percent lower than the average water productivity of one kilogramme per cubic metre for rice in Asian countries.

 In comparison we see that in Israel water availability annually is 2.1 billion cubic meters or about 1.8 million acre feet against Pakistan’s 145 maf. Its exports of fruits and vegetable for example is worth US $ 1.1 billion. Moreover Israel recycles 40% saline water for productive use. Tariq Banuri, the founding executive director of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), a senior climate expert and currently heading the Higher Education Commission (HEC) as its chairman, agrees that Pakistan is wasting its water resources due to inefficient consumption patterns and negligible recycling.

·      Impact of high water use due to urbanization and rising affluence

As the average income of the people rises demand for more salivating food like meat and poultry increases by a higher proportion. A branded corporate sector beef burgher requires an astonishing 600 gallons of water to produce. This is equivalent to showering daily for 2 months. Domestic water consumption only uses 5% of the total water usage in the US, while animal agriculture uses 55%. To produce one pound of beef, 2500 gallons of water is required; a pound of eggs require 477 gallons of water; and one pound of cheese needs 900 gallons of water.

 The earth is growing enough food for 12-15 billion people, while there are only 7 billion people while a billion are starving every day. Is there an alternative to eating more beef and chicken even if we can afford to pay for these items. Perhaps not today but there is little doubt that in the years to come administrative/command regulations and increased costs marking scarcity would be in place to restrict the availability of such high water-use commodities.

 (The United Nations published a report in 2006 said that cows produce more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. A 2009 Worldwatch report said that transportation vehicles emit 13% of greenhouse gases, compared to the 55% produced by cows. Cows produce methane as a part of their digestive process, which is 25 to 100 times more destructive as a greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide emitted. Raising animals for food uses 33% of the earth’s freshwater, 45% of land, and has caused 91% of the destruction in the Amazon rainforest. 9.26 million acres of rainforest have been lost for palm oil production, and 136 million acres have been lost for livestock production. Cows produce 130 times more waste than the entire human population. To produce 1 gallon of milk, 1000 gallons of water is needed.

 We are growing enough food for 12-15 billion people, while there are only 7 billion people, and 1 billion are starving every day. Is there an alternative eating more beef and chicken if we can afford to pay for these. Perhaps not today but there is little doubt that in the years to come regulation would restrict the amount of such high water-use commodities.

2. Water Sector Governance; improving legal and Institutional instruments

·       Effective implementation of National Water Policy.

At the apex policy-making level the water sector was not been given the importance it deserved except during the nineteen sixties following the signing of the Indus Water Treaty. This results of this default are before us today. The problems if identified early can be resolved. There were a few positive initiatives taken though. Pakistan was largely able to address the inter-provincial water claims and wrangling in 1991 by unanimously agreeing to the Water Sharing Accord. Though some clauses of the Accord need clearer interpretation yet the fact that the issue was resolved augurs well for the country. Now the efforts of the federal and provincial governments should focus on how best to devise, regulate and monitor the sustainable use and conservation of the precious water. Fortunately, early in 2018 the Government of Pakistan and the four provinces unanimously approved the new National Water Policy which had eluded the country for nearly half a century. The Policy identifies the main issues facing the sector and makes useful suggestions. It would only be successful if it is effectively implemented and the fact that the Prime Minister would head the proposed National Water Council should lead to addressing the main issues of the water sector. This body will meet at least once a year and perform the following functions:

 (a) Review and coordinate implementation of the National Water Policy and National Water Sector Strategy in the country and periodic updating of the same;

 (b) Recommend legislation, policies and strategies for water resources development and management in the country;

 (c) National planning and coordination for water resources development and management activities among concerned organizations at federal as well as provincial government level to achieve objectives of NWP;

 (d) Review all major interprovincial water-related projects and activities in the fields of irrigation, drainage, flood control and hydropower where federal funding is involved to ensure optimal and economical use of water resources;

 (e) Create an enabling environment that shall promote broader multi-stakeholders’ participation and integrated water resources management with due consideration for environment and ecology;

·       Inadequate Project Preparation and Implementation

·       The loss caused by the inability to adhere to effective governance norms and to minutely follow development manuals on financing and implementation of water sector programmes is alarming. Exercise of personal and often whimsical discretion by the politicians and the bureaucrats is widespread and needs to be avoided. Development planning in Pakistan is plagued with issues of skewed, shoddy and manipulated project preparation and evaluation. There are inordinate laxity in approving development projects which is further compounded by delayed release of funds, corruption and misappropriation of scarce resources. Every change of government invariably results in the alteration of project portfolio and priorities.

·       Bold and timely decision-making is the essence of good governance especially for large water-related projects, and yet senior officials are loath to taking prompt decisions because of the fear of enquiries years or a decade later. A convenient solution to this impasse would need to be established. One way out could be for the Pakistan Public Procurement Agency, the Accountability Bureau and the Auditor General of Pakistan to be represented at the apex tier of decision making so that their observations into the legality of a decision could be determined early.

·       Adequate provision of funds for the timely completion of ongoing works is very important to prevent excessive costs over-runs and to ensure the accrual of project benefits early. The Greater Thall Canal completed in 2009 was able to pay for itself through enhanced crop productivity within three years of completion because of timely release of funds. On the other hand, the Kacchi Canal to Baluchistan was denied the required funds with the result that the project costs soared and the expected benefits were denied to the local people for nearly a decade. Delayed releases of finances by the Finance ministry was also responsible for cost overruns and delayed completion of Mangla Dam Raising Project, Naulong dam, Gomal zam dam and others. 

–         There is a need for developing a bipartisan twenty-year National Development Consensus which would align national priorities in an objective manner with water sector placed at the top. The Provincial Governments which are now provided 57.5% of the funds from the Divisible pool must share in developing the water and power projects and not leave all investments to the federal government. There is a need for greater focus on intensive/ efficient irrigation system, water storage/ conservation, land reclamation and treatment of saline water.

·       Need for New Water Storages

The need for developing additional water reservoirs cannot be over emphasized. Starting with the Diamir Basha (gross storage 8.1 MAF; power generation 4500 megawatt) and Mohmand dam (storage1.2 MAF; power generation 840 megawatt) adequate financing for these two reservoirs must be provided over the next 5-10 years in the public sector. Financing is likely to be available for these through suppliers’ credit, contractors’ financing and the public sector development programme. The run of the river Dasu dam, also on the Indus, should be deferred till these two water storages are completed in eight years since water has emerged as a more serious issue than generating electricity only. There is little likelihood of funding all three of these simultaneously.

  After these two dams are initiated efforts need to be made for developing a consensus work on the Kalabagh Dam with a live storage of 6.1 MAF. Its power generating capacity would be 3,600 MW totaling about 12 billion energy units annually. Its maximum water retention level would be 915 ft which would be 35 feet lower than Nowshera.

For the water starved province of Baluchistan there is the urgent need to construct five water storages identified by Wapda. These would not only provide food security but useful local employment to the people.  The reservoirs in Hingol (Lasbela) would irrigate 65000 acres, Naulong (Jhal Magsi) 47000 acres, Pelar (Awaran) 25000, Garuk (Kharan) 12500 and Winder (Lasbela) 10000 acres. These five site in combination would store nearly 1.6 million acre feet of water at a cost of about Rs150 billion.

Similarly, in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province (including the erstwhile Tribal Areas) three new reservoirs should be constructed after commencement of Gomal Zam and Kurram Tangi projects in Waziristan. These include the Bara dam (Khyber Agency) which would irrigate 41000 acres, Tank Zam (Tank district) 35000 acres and Daraban (DIKhan district). The total gross storage capacity would be 1,268,369 acre feet sufficient to irrigate 92,729 acres at a cost Rs 200 billion.

                                                                                         

Record  of  Note  of  the  Courtesy  Call  on  the  President  of  Pakistan  by  Mr. Shams ul Mulk,HI from (SOPREST) 

The President of the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Pakistan (SOPREST) Mr. Shams ul Mulk and the Executive Director Mr. Shakil Durrani called on the President of Pakistan/ Chancellor Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology on 5th November 2018 at the Presidency. They felicitated the President of Pakistan on his election to the office and prayed that the Almighty may bless and benefit Pakistan and its people.  Mr. Shams ul Mulk stated that he is looking forward to welcoming the President at the GIK  Institute  in  Topi  at  the  next  convocation in June 2019 and hopefully even earlier.

Mr. Shams ul Mulk informed the President that SOPREST as a private Trust dedicated to promoting science and technology in the country was created in 1988 which led to the establishment of GIK Institute in 1992. Today there are nearly 2000 student studying for Graduate, Post Graduate and PhD degrees with female students forming nearly ten percent of the total.  During the past quarter century over 5000 students have successfully completed their studies at the GIK Institute and are serving within the country or abroad.

The President of Pakistan was also informed that selection of students at all levels is totally merit-based and there are no provincial, geographical or individual quotas for entrance.  The annual teaching, boarding, lodging costs per student is approximately Rupees seven lacs and nearly a third of all students either receive scholarships or limited financial assistance. A distinguishing feature of GIK Institute is that all students and faculty live on the campus which is a challenge that has been accepted for the cause of promoting scientific education.

The GIK Institute has made significant progress since adopting Outcome Based Education (OBE) in the recent past. On fully assimilating internationally bench-marked OBE system, GIK graduates will be considered at par with those graduating from Washington Accord (WA) signatory countries.  As a consequence, GIK graduates will enjoy several benefits including global mobility.

The Executive Director SOPREST, Mr. Shakil Durrani informed the President of Pakistan that in furtherance of its mandate SOPREST has been authorized by its Executive Board to assist and affiliate one public sector engineering university in each province in order to upgrade the syllabi, enhance teaching standards, improve laboratories and help in professional grooming and upgrading employment skills. In this connection mention was made of the recent visit of a team from SOPREST to the Peoples’ Republic of China to study the functioning of the China Association of Science and technology (CAST) which would lead to further collaboration between them in promoting research and exchange of students and teachers.

The President of Pakistan thanked President, SOPREST for the sentiments conveyed and for providing a briefing on its activities. He stated that he holds the GIK Institute in high regard on account of its reputation and service to the nation and that he would be looking forward to visiting GIK Institute at an appropriate time.

The President expressed a keen interest in the working of GIK Institute and made a number of queries and observations. He was informed that in GIK Institute the ratio of faculty to students was around 1:20 and that out of the 105 faculty members about 70 held PhD degrees. The President stressed the importance on the flow of knowledge in engineering education and advised that this matter be focused upon to remain abreast of the times.  He was informed that distant learning techniques have already been initiated by GIK Institute beginning with video conferences on invitation primarily for the faculty. Lectures from MIT and other universities are being arranged and the equipment acquired for the purpose.

The President was also informed that the Government of Pakistan (GOP) provides no financial support to GIK Institute on the plea that it was a private sector entity and the only time assistance was provided was in the shape of repayable foreign loans acquired twenty four years back from France, Islamic Development Bank and OPEC. Though the original capital amounts have been paid back to the Economic Affairs Division yet the interest rates continue to soar and partly remain unpaid. Two years back this issue was raised with the President of Pakistan who has kindly recommended the case to the Government of Pakistan (GOP) for assistance. However the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been very generous to the GIK Institute and two years back Mr. Pervez Khattak, the Chief Minister KP, provided a grant of one billion rupees for building a new academic block and additional amounts for a hostel and Incubation Center.

                                                                       The other view article by Mr. Shakil Durrani

The Importance of the Human Factor Article by Mr.Shakil Durrani

Article on China Visit Page 1

Article on China Visit Page 2

Article on China Visit Page 3

Article on KP on Road Back to Prosperity Page 1

SOPREST  DELEGATION  VISITS  CHINA

Record Note of visit of SOPREST delegation to China 6th – 15th August 2018

A three-member delegation representing the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Science and Technology in Pakistan (SOPREST), a private not-for-profit Trust established in 1988, visited the Peoples’ Republic of China to explore the possibilities of developing engineering and scientific cooperation between the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIKI) of Engineering Sciences and Technology and Chinese Universities. The delegation comprised Mr Shakil Durrani Executive Director SOPREST, Mr. Jehangir Bashar, Rector GIKI and Mr Farid Rehman, Executive Committee member. Dr. Ata ur Rehman, Scientific Counsellor in Pakistan Embassy in China assisted the delegation in all meetings in Beijing. Mr. Shams ul Mulk, President SOPREST, returned to Pakistan early due to health reasons.

  1. China Association of Science and Technology (CAST)

The first meeting of the delegation was held with the top officials of the Chinese Association of Science and Technology (CAST). They were Dr Shu Wei, Executive Director, CAST; Prof Wang Qinglin, Deputy Director General, Department of International Affairs CAST; Prof Zhang Xiaotang, Director Pakistan Study Center of S&T, Cast; Prof Sun Lin, Deputy Director for Bilateral Cooperation and Ms. Ling Feng / Ma Qian of CAST.

Dr. Shu Wei welcomed the SOPREST delegation and stated that this visit augurs well as in China it is believed that an event occurring on the first day of autumn leads to success. He explained the role and structure of CAST, which is the apex entity responsible for the promotion of science and technology all over the country.   He explained that CAST also has a large number of international partners including those in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico and USA.  He also mentioned the establishment of a Museum in partnership with UNESCO in Pakistan. The fact that both CAST and SOPREST are members of the Washington Accord would result in developing close partnership for mutual cooperation. The Executive Director mentioned the Asia Pacific Association under the Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese government which would pave the way for greater scientific collaboration in the region. This would lead to closer people to people association.

Mr. Shakil Durrani, Executive Director thanked CAST for providing SOPREST with the opportunity to visit and interact with CAST and its affiliated universities and hoped that Memoranda of Understanding and partnerships would be developed across many disciplines. He explained that the purpose behind establishing SOPREST in 1989 was to expand and improve the teaching of science and engineering studies to international standards. So far, SOPREST has set up the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIKI) of Engineering Sciences and Technology, which in a short period of time has risen to become the top engineering university in the private sector in Pakistan and is counted among the best overall as well. SOPREST is keen to provide the leadership in Pakistan to reach out to those science-based educational institutions which were finding it difficult to keep abreast of modern scientific developments. In this connection he explained that the activities of SOPREST would soon be expanded to all provinces of Pakistan to improve the science syllabi, modernize laboratories, raise the teaching standards and assist the graduating students in finding meaningful employment in business, industry and academia. In a sense, the role and purpose of SOPREST and CAST is similar. In the years ahead SOPREST / GIKI wish to provide leadership in diverse areas of academic interest and also to assist in the development of the Belt and Road Initiative and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor by providing high quality technical and management personnel and innovators. SOPREST also proposes to develop new faculties of Genetics, Bio-Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics and create a Center of Excellence for studying climate change, shrinking glaciers, river silting and sea water intrusion.

Mr Jehangir Bashar Rector GIKI informed the meeting about the cooperation already undertaken with Chinese universities over the past couple of years. He stated that MOUs were signed with the North Western Polytechnic University, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing University School of Electronics and Information Engineering, the Hohai University in Nanjing and the School of Aerospace Xian Jiatong University. Initial discussions have also been held for collaboration with the Wuhan International Joint Laboratory on Opto-electronics for developing a joint laboratory with GIK Institute.

SOPREST hopes that further developments towards greater cooperation would commence soon between it and CAST/Chinese technical universities through the Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing. The Executive Director SOPREST invited the top management of CAST to visit Pakistan and meet with the faculty and students of GIKI.

  1. Beijing Technology and Business University (BTBU)

The meetings of SOPREST with BTBU were attended by Mr Zheng Wenhong Vice President/Professor, BTBU; Zhang Xiaotang, Director Dept. of Science and Technology; Liu Ying, Director International Office; Prof Xu Bacai School of Food Science and Chemical Engineering, Ma Xuejiao, Coordinator International Programme (Development and Operation); Prof Xu Dandan, Director BTBU School of Economics and He Congfen, Director ‘Key Laboratory’ of China Light Industry Cosmetics, School of Science. The hosts explained their areas of specialization and offered exchange of faculty/students and joint research in Bioengineering and Artificial Intelligence faculties. Proposals would be developed by GIKI and forwarded for consideration and in this connection the BTBU was requested to visit Pakistan.

  1. Beijing University of Technology (BJUT)

Prof Qiao Junfei, Vice President BJUT said he and his university were very pleased at the visit of SOPREST and hoped that further cooperation would result between the two universities. He explained that Civil Engineering / Transportation faculties were among the top ranked specializations along with Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. A visit to some of the labs dealing with 3D Printing, Electronics and Robotics was also arranged. The visitors were also informed about the ‘3 Key Cross Disciplines’ and the Resources Environment / Recycling Economy / Nanotechnology that were central to their research efforts. SOPREST enquired about biodegradable shopping bags to replace the plastic bags which are a major nuisance in Pakistan. The concept of BJUT is based upon the ‘8 First Category Disciplines’ including Material Sciences & Engineering, Managerial Sciences & Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil engineering, Environment Sciences & Engineering which assists in focusing on advance research.

The SOPREST delegation discussed subjects of mutual interest with Prof Zhu Xiaoqing, Secretary General Beijing Artificial Intelligence Society (BJUT), Dr Wang Shaofan, Associate Prof, AI and Automation (BJUT), Prof Zhang Xiaotang, Director Dept of Science and Technology (BTBU), Prof Liu Zenghua, Dean of College of International Education and Prof Zhu Xiaoqing, Vice Dean of AI and Automation.

Prof Weng Jiancheng, Deputy Director of International Office informed the delegation that there were a large number of foreign students in the University including 55 from Pakistan and that there were good prospects of Faculty and Student exchanges and Joint Research in science and engineering. BJUT was requested to establish a Research laboratory in GIK Institute for which concrete proposals may be forwarded.

Mr. Shakil Durrani and the Rector GIK Institute stated that a set of proposals would be sent to BJUT to explore areas of further understanding after which an agreement could be signed for joint research and Faculty and Students exchange. He requested the university to visit Pakistan so that further developments could be planned and implemented.

  1. Genetics Society of China and Beijing Institute of Genomics (BIG), China Academy of Science

Prof. Xue Yongbiao, Vice Chairman and Secretary General GSC, Director of BIG, welcomed the delegation from Pakistan. This is a non-profit, independent body created for scientists, students and those persons who are enthusiastic about Genetics / Molecular Bio-chemistry / Genomics / Plant Technology. TAD, DNA, RNA are now the major focus of BIG.  The meeting was informed that they were associated with Francis Collins of Human Genome project and the hope was that in the years ahead whole genome sequences would be developed which could lead to individual treatment of cancer and other diseases. BIG was willing to assist GIKI in all areas of genomics at under graduate, graduate and research levels. It was also pointed out that BIG has affiliation with QAU and Karachi Universities at present.

Profs Zeng Changqing Director of CAS Key Laboratory of Genomics and Precision Medicine; Wu Jiayan Director of Major Projects office and Core Facility Center, BIG; Wu Jun, Deputy Director of Research and Infrastructure Dept, BIG also shared their thoughts with the visitors. Three Pakistani PhD students, Muhammad Sohail Raza, Sadaf Ambreen and Aisha were also invited to the proceedings. The Executive Director SOPREST invited the management to visit Pakistan so that further cooperation could take place.

  1. China Institute of Water Resources and HydroPower Research

The meeting was attended by Mr. Wang Xiaogang, Vice President, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research; Peng Jing, Vice President IWHR; Zhang Jianli, Director International Cooperation; Jia Yangwen, Deputy Director; Cao Wenhong, Director Sediment Research; Di Yuna; and Zhang Jinjie, GM Beijing IWQHR corporation. The SOPREST delegation comprised Mr. Shakil Durrani, Executive Director SOPREST, Mr. Jehangir Bashar, Rector GIK Institute, Mr. Farid Rehman, Executive Committee member and Dr. Ataur Rehman, Science Counselor from the Pakistan Embassy.

Mr. Wang Xiaogang while welcoming the SOPREST delegation pointed out that IWHR and a few organizations / departments in Pakistan were no strangers to each other. He remembered the visit of Mr. Shakil Durrani to IWHR headquarters in Beijing in 2009 when he was Chairman, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) in Pakistan. He further said that brotherly relations between the two friends should not be confined to expressions of love and support alone but should also lead to practical and useful training programmes and research projects. It was pointed out the need for greater collaboration / development on the MOUs signed by IWHR and WAPDA in 2009 and with the Sind Government in 2014. It would be most useful to involve the two sides in fruitful cooperation in important matters like climate change, shrinking of glaciers, sedimentation of rivers and water reservoirs, flood and tidal waves control. He also stated that IWHR was associated with the preliminary studies on Diamir Basha dam, Gomalzam dam, high intensity irrigation and flood control recommendations after the 2010 floods in Pakistan. IWHR was also involved in technical studies of Jagran Two, Mahl and Karot hydel power projects in northern Pakistan. IWHR was also associated with BRI and CPEC, Sino-America and Sino Australia water research efforts.

The IWHR explained that they already have a Climate Change Department which was also studying glaciers. Mr. Shakil Durrani suggested that glacier movement, sedimentation in rivers and sea water desalinization could jointly be studied with WAPDA, GIKI and IWHR through the establishment of an Institute in GIKI for the purpose. It was explained that at present sediment control is a fledgling science but was very important because annually soil erosion in China amounts to 5 billion tons while worldwide it could be 30 billion tons. The hosts explained that Hydraulic Raising Gates, Hydraulic Elevator dams to control floods and Tidal waves was also a priority subject with their organization. SOPREST would coordinate with Wapda and then put up proposals for further cooperation.

  1. Liaoning Chamber of Commerce

Han Qing, Chairman Liaoning Chamber welcomed the two delegations from Pakistan consisting of the Mayor of Karachi and the other from SOPREST. He introduced the members of his team including the Vice Chairman and Mr. Ma, the representative of Liaoning Chamber in Pakistan. He informed the delegations that Liaoning province had a population of 44 million people with 5,500 km long railways and 8 million cars. He stated that business, industry and technical education were provided great emphasis in the province and there were nearly 1,700 Technical institutes. A total of 5,000 robots were developed and are functioning. He offered his Chamber’s cooperation in upgrading Pakistani Poly-technical Institutes

The Mayor of Karachi thanked the Chairman for his offer of cooperation and also pointed out that in addition to technical education Karachi city’s main problems were conversion of garbage waste into energy, seawater desalinization and development of urban mass transportation system. The Executive Director of SOPREST also thanked the Chairman and expressed gratitude for the offer to upgrade poly-technical Institutes in Pakistan. He said they were looking forward to the visit of the Vice Mayor of Shenyang to Pakistan.

  1. Liaoning University

A meeting was held with the senior management of the Liaoning University to discuss possible areas of collaboration between GIK Institute and Liaoning University. It was attended by Prof Pan Yishan, President LNU; Jiang Lei, Director International Communication and Exchange; Wan Dongmei, Dean of Biology Engineering Institute; Xiang Zheng, Medication Institute of LNU; Chen Shiqing, Chairman Shenyang Trade and Promotion Association; Hu Chuntao, President Beijing Equity Investment Fund; CEO Liu Zeto Guofu, EIFM Equity Investment Fund Management; Jiang Lei, Head of International Student Affairs.

President Dr. Yishan Pan informed the delegation that Liaoning University was established in 1948 and had 21 disciplines on three campuses. It is one of the national ‘Double First-Class’ universities of China. There were a large number of international students numbering 1810 in the University including 100 from Pakistan. Apart from a Confucius Institute it also ran a Silk Road Scholarship programme. He opined that GIKI and Liaoning Universities should complement and strengthen academic and research relationships. said joint educational programmes between the two universities

Shakil Durrani, Executive Director SOPREST informed that GIKI currently operates 11 Faculties and hopes to establish a faculty of Genetics / Biotechnology in the near future. GIKI could benefit from Liaoning’s research on cell structures, artificial intelligence and other areas of specialization. He invited a delegation to visit Pakistan at their convenience.

After the meeting a MOU was signed by Mr. Jehangir Bashar, Rector GIK Institute and Dr. Pan Yishan, President of Liaoning University.

  1. Shenyang Aerospace University (SAU)

Dr. Xiaoping Sun, President SAU, Prof QiWang, Vice President SAU and Prof Richard Chen Dean of International Education met with the SOPREST delegation. They informed that SAU had nearly 1,000 academic staff and personnel and 20,000 students were currently studying there. So far nearly 80,000 students have graduated over the past 60 years and almost 90% students find employment soon after graduation. The SAU develops its own drones, small aircraft and other equipment. The President during discussions agreed to provide scholarships to two Pakistani students for studying in SAU. Pakistani students pointed out that many of the degrees obtained in Chinese Universities are not recognized in Pakistan for which the Pakistan Higher Education Commission would need to be approached. A MOU for academic collaboration between the two universities was signed on the occasion by the President of SAU and the Rector of GIK Institute.

  1. China Medical University; First Affiliated Hospital

The SOPREST delegation visited the hospital of the China Medical University and met Dr Yu Xiasong, Vice President and Dr Yu Lia Song. China Medical University was founded 1931 by Mao Zhe Tung and is among the 28 best hospitals of China with 16,000 staff and students. There are 9,000 undergraduate students including 1,100 international students some of whom are from Pakistan. It is a comprehensive hospital with two specialised hospitals and nearly 1,100 professors / doctors. There are seven degree programmes with 21 specialties. The University also has engineering, sciences, philosophy and management programmes. There is much scope for cooperation between China Medical University and SOPREST/GIK Institute.

Mr Shakil Durrani, Executive Director SOPREST thanked the senior management of the University / Hospital for their consideration and hospitality and appreciated the standards achieved by them in different specialties. He spoke of the need for a high quality hospital in or around Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, and invited the hospital group to visit Pakistan and consider establishing a state of the art hospital for serious diseases such as those relating to heart, liver, kidney and cancer. SOPREST would be willing to provide support and could also establish a medical school attached to such a hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTICE INVITING TENDER

 

  1. Society for Promotion of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Pakistan invites sealed bids (Technical and Price Bids) on “Single Stage Two Envelope Bidding Procedure” for the Supply, Installation, Testing, Commissioning, Operation and Maintenance of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Works at the New Academic Block of GIK Institute, Topi, from eligible firms or persons licensed by Pakistan Engineering Council in Category C-04 (ME-01) and higher, relevant to the value of Works. A foreign bidder is entitled to bid only in a joint venture with a Pakistani Constructor in accordance with the provisions of PEC bye-laws.
  2. The Bid documents can be obtained from office of the undersigned during working office hours on submission of a written application and upon payment of a non refundable cost of Bid document in cash.
  3. Each Bid must be accompanied by a BID SECURITY equivalent to 2% of quoted price in Pak Rs or, an equivalent amount in a freely convertible currency. Bid Security in the form of Deposit at Call or Bank Guarantee by a Schedule Bank in Pakistan, in favor of the Employer, are acceptable only. Any Bid not accompanied by an acceptable Bid Security, shall be rejected by the Employer being Non Responsive.
  4. Bids should be delivered at or before 1100 hours on the 11 June, 2018 on the address given below.
  5. Technical Bids will be opened at 1130 hours by the Bid Opening Committee on the same day in presence of the Bidders or their authorized representatives who choose to attend at SOPREST Office, Islamabad. Price Bids of the Bidders whose Technical Bids are determined substantially responsive will be opened at a later stage in presence of the Bidders or their authorized representatives who choose to attend, at the time which will be notified in advance..
  6. Conditional, incomplete, overwriting & bid filled with lead pencils are not acceptable.
  7. Pre-Bid meeting will be held on 07 June, 2018 at 1100 hours in office of undersigned.
  8. The Competent Authority reserves the right to accept or reject any one or all proposals without assigning any reason(s) thereof.

             

 Director Works (SOPREST)

534, Street No. 33,

     NPF, E-11/3, Islamabad

       Ph. No.: 051-2228787-89

                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                           

 

 

 

 

 

                                         CPEC Summit Karachi 23-24 April 2018 Karachi:  Energy Issues in relation to CPEC

              ‘The session will provide an in depth examination of Pakistan’s current energy landscape and the role of CPEC in tackling the country energy shortfall. To this end the session would focus on investment made to date to upgrade the country’s energy landscape as well as opportunities for future investments in the sector’.

Participants: Chair Shakil Durrani Former Chairman Water & Power development Authority and Chief Secretary Governments of KP and Sindh.

Shamsuddin Sheikh CEO, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company

Dale Sinkler of Karachi Electric

Iqbal Z Ahmed Chairman Associated Group

Shah Jahan Mirza MD PPIB

Mohammad Farid Alam CEO AKD Securities

………….Port Qasim Power Company.

Hasan Daud Project director CPEC and NDRC representative.

The Chair briefly introduced the electric power sector by highlighting different power generation sources including hydel, oil, gas and coal relating to CPEC. He informed that the main issue in the country till recently was inadequate power generation resulting in declared shortages of over 6000 megawatts. With the commissioning of a number of projects during the past couple of years, mostly from non-CPEC sources, the shortages have been brought under control temporarily but there exist even more serious problems in the sector.

The central issue today is the high cost of electricity and the financial non-sustainability of the power sector. Both the manufacturer-exporter and the middle class consumer are suffer because of the energy costs they have to bear. Perhaps the main cause of the high-priced electricity results from the excessive technical (transmission-distribution) and administrative (pilferage-corruption) losses which may amount to nearly 25% of the power generated rather than the 18% claimed by the public sector’s entity, Pepco. The inability to collect the electric power supplied and billed to the consumer, excluding those provided subsidies, probably amount to another 10-12%. With more than a third of the electric power consumed but not paid for, the debt of the sector circulating between the utility and those providing the generating inputs has become unbearable.

These problems can be remedied but only through onerous and planned hard work. There is need for immediate and effective up-gradation of the distribution infrastructure focusing on replacing low-capacity conductors and the introduction of full spectrum ‘smart metering’ to stop the excessive bleeding. This would cost the ‘Discos’ considerable money but there is no alternative to this except motivating the consumers to generate roof-top solar or wind power themselves.  The impact of the losses and corruption can be seen from the fact that the ‘circular debt’ amounting to just under five hundred billion rupees was cleared four years back but it has risen to that level again today. A yearly loss of over a hundred and fifty billion rupees would bankrupt any utility. This is clearly unsustainable whether or not the deficit forms part of the federal budget. The provincial governments would need to assist the federal utilities in stopping pilferage and recovering revenues through policing and the courts.

In the past it was felt that because of the failures and corruption of the ‘Discos’, the distribution companies, there remained the option of privatizing power distribution. This experience to date, has not turned out to be a happy one either. Lately, the unsatisfactory performance of the privatized Karachi Electric has placed a huge question mark over the utility’s intent and efficiency. For the future the Government would need to effectively enable the regulator, the National Electric Power Regulating Authority (Nepra), with sufficient regulatory and penal powers to deal with the shortcomings of the privatized companies. The Privatization Commission would also need to address the lacunae in the contracts so as to objectively scrutinize the provisions leading to the sale of the entities. Leasing of selected ‘Distribution Feeders’ for varying time periods could also be a considered as some control over the operations of the private companies should be ensured.

The Chair also pointed out that it was baffling that the construction of the multi-purpose Diamir Basha dam and Munda Mohmand dams were not included in CPEC even though all people with vision would be aware that water storage (and hydel-power generation) is the most pressing problem in the country today.

The representative of Karachi Electric, Dale Sinkler, stated that Karachi Electric was a private company that owns and manages electric power generation, transmission and distribution in the city. He informed that the percentage of consumers who get uninterrupted power supply without ‘loading shedding’ has increased to 61% since the company was privatized compared to less than half of this earlier. They have improved governance because of which losses and pilferage has also been reduced. He also informed that his company was committed to investing US$ 1.7 billion to augment power generation and improve the distribution system because without major investments in upgrading the distribution system the problems relating to frequent tripping and power failures cannot be addressed. He informed that the recent experience of inadequate power generation by K Electric related to the non-availability of natural gas which would soon be resolved.

Other speakers on the panel however pointed out that it was the responsibility of K Electric to ensure a back-up supply chain in case natural gas was not available as the turbine/generators could be operated on other fuel sources. It was also stated that the areas where there was limited or no ‘load-shedding’ comprised the industrial-commercial pockets or the more affluent sections of the city but the poorer and the middle-class suffered considerably because of non-availability of electric power during the summer season.

The Managing Director of Private Power and Infrastructure Board provided background information of the role and responsibilities of his organization. He stated that the number of new projects initiated under CPEC was a record as never before have so many energy units costing US $ 35 billion been set up in the country. He mentioned the successful implementation of the Thar coal power project which had been ignored for long.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Sind Engro Coal company informed that after a lapse of decades his company is close to generating electricity from the first unit based on Thar coal during the current year. Over the next 6-8 years Thar would be generating nearly 4000 MW of power at rates ranging from 5-6 cents per unit. Coal mining and power generation is already bringing about a socio-cultural transformation for the better in the area besides alleviating poverty. The lives of the local people is improving rapidly and of the women-folk even more so.

The Chairman of Associated Group, Iqbal Z Ahmad stated that the power sector was adversely being affected by the huge circular debt and the issue has not been tackled so far. This was a very serious matter as it had a perverse effect on private sector investment on the one hand, while on the other the domestic consumers and the industrial sectors were suffering the consequences as well. Both the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), need to effectively perform their obligations under the law. It appeared that neither had the capacity nor the muscle to regulate the two important sectors of the economy. Lack of effective and rule-based governance appears to be the main causes of the malaise in these sectors. The regulator would need to be empowered and supported to perform the tasks these were set up for. He also mentioned that gas losses have climbed to 22% while the total losses in the power sector are even higher. This was clearly unsustainable. He also felt that the power generating companies, the Independent Power Producers (IPP) should not get State guarantees any longer for the purchase of power generated and that these companies should compete in the open market competitively. The speaker also was of the view that the administrative and management costs of recovering electric power bills were high which led to improper practices and that it may be better to allow the first 50 units free of cost to all consumers.

The representative of the Ministry of Planning & Development revealed that there were…….. energy projects in CPEC costing US$……. out of the total portfolio of US$ 56 billion. The power generating projects are being financed and operated through equity investment by different local and Chinese companies which would receive the agreed amounts of Returns on Equity.

CPEC: Infrastructure and Special Economic Zones in KP

‘The Chief Minister KP session will serve as an investment road show from the government to potential Chinese investors. To this end the session will focus on progress to date progress on CPEC related projects with a focus on mining and infrastructure as well as details on planning and developing Special Economic Zones and incentives given to investors establishing industries in these zones. This session would highlight the role of KP province as a gateway for companies seeking access to the Central Asian markets’.

Chair: Shakil Durrani, Former Chairman Water and Power Development Authority and Chief Secretary Governments KP (NWFP) and Sindh.

Speakers: Akbar Ayub Khan, Provincial Minister KP.

Provincial government official…….

Hasan Daud, Project Director CPEC, Ministry of Planning and Development, GOP.

The Chair initiated the discussions by mentioning that whereas CPEC had the potential of transforming the economy of Pakistan we should also realise that there was more to development than building brick and mortar physical infrastructure. Physical infrastructure by itself may not be enough to catapult the country to an ‘economic take-off’ leading to meaningful progress and development. Just as important as material development was ensuring that human resource uplift takes place quickly. We need to imprint in minds of all that to manage and operate CPEC projects, as indeed all components of the political economy, we have to create an objective rule-based environment where all decisions have to be taken on merit with no discretion allowed to those in authority. Projects will have to be run efficiently and profitably because the foreign loans and investments for these transportation and energy investments have to be repaid in the allowed time period. Without effective management and operation of these projects it would not be possible to repay these loans and investments where the Return on Equity would range from 20-25%.

Ensuring optimum efficiency was the key to establishing and operating CPEC projects and the material developments that would accompany these. The CPEC infrastructure and facilities are products of the 21st century but can Pakistan manage and operate these facilities to the optimum level? That remains the central question. Our literacy rate is said to be an abysmal 62% (on ground it may be nearer 40%); Net Enrolment Ratio is only about 70% and such a low level in the 21st century is unfortunate; the population growth rate for both KP and Baluchistan provinces is closer to 2.9% against a national average of 2%. In addition, governance all over the country must be improved and all in powerful positions need to be held to account for the decisions taken. In particular, the police stations, district courts, the municipalities and land revenue offices must be made more responsive and accountable. Dispute adjudication should occur in days and weeks not years and decades.

The Chair also informed the seminar that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has immense potential for economic development as it has extensive hydro-power and mineral resources including huge deposits of oil and gas. The province needs to place emphasis on these sectors to provide employment to its rapidly growing population  which is well above the national level. Energetic industrialization is the most convenient way of absorbing this high population growth as KP’s irrigated land base was limited. He recalled the period between 1950-55 when the then Chief Minister, Khan Abdul Qaiyum, provided two very attractive incentives for the potential investors. Firstly, he committed to lowering electricity tariff by 50% as electric power before One Unit was a provincial subject. (This is partially the case again today). Secondly, he undertook the responsibility for acquiring and handing over land, roads and utilities to the investors. These facilities had a magical effect and led to dozens of industrialists from Karachi and Punjab into investing in a large number of large and medium-sized factories in the Nowshera-Amangarh area and at other places in the provinces. The Chair also informed that the provincial government has announced a major subsidy in electricity tariffs as well as lowered interest on financing for industrial units seeking to invest in the Special Economic Zones. These need to be followed up.

The Chair however cautioned that potential investors should not be troubled and hounded at every step. They need to be facilitated so that they do not waste their time and energy running from pillar to post seeking government approvals. A ‘One Window’ operation should be just such a facility which itself provides all the sanctions required. Currently in all parts of the country the investors have to seek nearly two dozen authorizations and permissions from different departments, Federal, Provincial and Local, which takes years and much expense. This must change. The Federal Board of Investment and the Provincial counterparts must take responsibility to provide all ‘NOC’s to investors within a given time-frame of not more than three months.

The provincial minister from KP highlighted the incentives being offered to the investors for facilitating industrial development. Soft-term loans, subsidies for electricity use, industrial parks and effective security have been offered. He stated that the province was recovering from a decade of extremist violence which had contributed to transfer of capital to other provinces. The situation was improving gradually as investors had started focusing on hydro-power, steel and mining ventures. The Special Economic Zones would play a central role in attracting investment in the province. There was the need to provide generous income, custom and sale tax exemptions by the Government of Pakistan so that the under-developed areas that suffered most from the recent violence can benefits through employment generation and poverty alleviation.

The provincial representative…. and the representative from the Planning & Development Ministry provided greater details of the projects and the programmes being undertaken under the CPEC umbrella.

‘The session will provide an in depth examination of Pakistan’s current energy landscape and the role of CPEC in tackling the country energy shortfall. To this end the session would focus on investment made to date to upgrade the country’s energy landscape as well as opportunities for future investments in the sector’.

Participants: Chair Shakil Durrani Former Chairman Water & Power development Authority and Chief Secretary Governments of KP and Sindh.

Shamsuddin Sheikh CEO, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company

Dale Sinkler of Karachi Electric

Iqbal Z Ahmed Chairman Associated Group

Shah Jahan Mirza MD PPIB

Mohammad Farid Alam CEO AKD Securities

………….Port Qasim Power Company.

Hasan Daud Project director CPEC and NDRC representative.

The Chair briefly introduced the electric power sector by highlighting different power generation sources including hydel, oil, gas and coal relating to CPEC. He informed that the main issue in the country till recently was inadequate power generation resulting in declared shortages of over 6000 megawatts. With the commissioning of a number of projects during the past couple of years, mostly from non-CPEC sources, the shortages have been brought under control temporarily but there exist even more serious problems in the sector.

The central issue today is the high cost of electricity and the financial non-sustainability of the power sector. Both the manufacturer-exporter and the middle class consumer are suffer because of the energy costs they have to bear. Perhaps the main cause of the high-priced electricity results from the excessive technical (transmission-distribution) and administrative (pilferage-corruption) losses which may amount to nearly 25% of the power generated rather than the 18% claimed by the public sector’s entity, Pepco. The inability to collect the electric power supplied and billed to the consumer, excluding those provided subsidies, probably amount to another 10-12%. With more than a third of the electric power consumed but not paid for, the debt of the sector circulating between the utility and those providing the generating inputs has become unbearable.

These problems can be remedied but only through onerous and planned hard work. There is need for immediate and effective up-gradation of the distribution infrastructure focusing on replacing low-capacity conductors and the introduction of full spectrum ‘smart metering’ to stop the excessive bleeding. This would cost the ‘Discos’ considerable money but there is no alternative to this except motivating the consumers to generate roof-top solar or wind power themselves.  The impact of the losses and corruption can be seen from the fact that the ‘circular debt’ amounting to just under five hundred billion rupees was cleared four years back but it has risen to that level again today. A yearly loss of over a hundred and fifty billion rupees would bankrupt any utility. This is clearly unsustainable whether or not the deficit forms part of the federal budget. The provincial governments would need to assist the federal utilities in stopping pilferage and recovering revenues through policing and the courts.

In the past it was felt that because of the failures and corruption of the ‘Discos’, the distribution companies, there remained the option of privatizing power distribution. This experience to date, has not turned out to be a happy one either. Lately, the unsatisfactory performance of the privatized Karachi Electric has placed a huge question mark over the utility’s intent and efficiency. For the future the Government would need to effectively enable the regulator, the National Electric Power Regulating Authority (Nepra), with sufficient regulatory and penal powers to deal with the shortcomings of the privatized companies. The Privatization Commission would also need to address the lacunae in the contracts so as to objectively scrutinize the provisions leading to the sale of the entities. Leasing of selected ‘Distribution Feeders’ for varying time periods could also be a considered as some control over the operations of the private companies should be ensured.

The Chair also pointed out that it was baffling that the construction of the multi-purpose Diamir Basha dam and Munda Mohmand dams were not included in CPEC even though all people with vision would be aware that water storage (and hydel-power generation) is the most pressing problem in the country today.

The representative of Karachi Electric, Dale Sinkler, stated that Karachi Electric was a private company that owns and manages electric power generation, transmission and distribution in the city. He informed that the percentage of consumers who get uninterrupted power supply without ‘loading shedding’ has increased to 61% since the company was privatized compared to less than half of this earlier. They have improved governance because of which losses and pilferage has also been reduced. He also informed that his company was committed to investing US$ 1.7 billion to augment power generation and improve the distribution system because without major investments in upgrading the distribution system the problems relating to frequent tripping and power failures cannot be addressed. He informed that the recent experience of inadequate power generation by K Electric related to the non-availability of natural gas which would soon be resolved.

Other speakers on the panel however pointed out that it was the responsibility of K Electric to ensure a back-up supply chain in case natural gas was not available as the turbine/generators could be operated on other fuel sources. It was also stated that the areas where there was limited or no ‘load-shedding’ comprised the industrial-commercial pockets or the more affluent sections of the city but the poorer and the middle-class suffered considerably because of non-availability of electric power during the summer season.

The Managing Director of Private Power and Infrastructure Board provided background information of the role and responsibilities of his organization. He stated that the number of new projects initiated under CPEC was a record as never before have so many energy units costing US $ 35 billion been set up in the country. He mentioned the successful implementation of the Thar coal power project which had been ignored for long.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Sind Engro Coal company informed that after a lapse of decades his company is close to generating electricity from the first unit based on Thar coal during the current year. Over the next 6-8 years Thar would be generating nearly 4000 MW of power at rates ranging from 5-6 cents per unit. Coal mining and power generation is already bringing about a socio-cultural transformation for the better in the area besides alleviating poverty. The lives of the local people is improving rapidly and of the women-folk even more so.

The Chairman of Associated Group, Iqbal Z Ahmad stated that the power sector was adversely being affected by the huge circular debt and the issue has not been tackled so far. This was a very serious matter as it had a perverse effect on private sector investment on the one hand, while on the other the domestic consumers and the industrial sectors were suffering the consequences as well. Both the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), need to effectively perform their obligations under the law. It appeared that neither had the capacity nor the muscle to regulate the two important sectors of the economy. Lack of effective and rule-based governance appears to be the main causes of the malaise in these sectors. The regulator would need to be empowered and supported to perform the tasks these were set up for. He also mentioned that gas losses have climbed to 22% while the total losses in the power sector are even higher. This was clearly unsustainable. He also felt that the power generating companies, the Independent Power Producers (IPP) should not get State guarantees any longer for the purchase of power generated and that these companies should compete in the open market competitively. The speaker also was of the view that the administrative and management costs of recovering electric power bills were high which led to improper practices and that it may be better to allow the first 50 units free of cost to all consumers.

The representative of the Ministry of Planning & Development revealed that there were…….. energy projects in CPEC costing US$……. out of the total portfolio of US$ 56 billion. The power generating projects are being financed and operated through equity investment by different local and Chinese companies which would receive the agreed amounts of Returns on Equity.

CPEC: Infrastructure and Special Economic Zones in KP

‘The Chief Minister KP session will serve as an investment road show from the government to potential Chinese investors. To this end the session will focus on progress to date progress on CPEC related projects with a focus on mining and infrastructure as well as details on planning and developing Special Economic Zones and incentives given to investors establishing industries in these zones. This session would highlight the role of KP province as a gateway for companies seeking access to the Central Asian markets’.

Chair: Shakil Durrani, Former Chairman Water and Power Development Authority and Chief Secretary Governments KP (NWFP) and Sindh.

Speakers: Akbar Ayub Khan, Provincial Minister KP.

Provincial government official…….

Hasan Daud, Project Director CPEC, Ministry of Planning and Development, GOP.

The Chair initiated the discussions by mentioning that whereas CPEC had the potential of transforming the economy of Pakistan we should also realise that there was more to development than building brick and mortar physical infrastructure. Physical infrastructure by itself may not be enough to catapult the country to an ‘economic take-off’ leading to meaningful progress and development. Just as important as material development was ensuring that human resource uplift takes place quickly. We need to imprint in minds of all that to manage and operate CPEC projects, as indeed all components of the political economy, we have to create an objective rule-based environment where all decisions have to be taken on merit with no discretion allowed to those in authority. Projects will have to be run efficiently and profitably because the foreign loans and investments for these transportation and energy investments have to be repaid in the allowed time period. Without effective management and operation of these projects it would not be possible to repay these loans and investments where the Return on Equity would range from 20-25%.

Ensuring optimum efficiency was the key to establishing and operating CPEC projects and the material developments that would accompany these. The CPEC infrastructure and facilities are products of the 21st century but can Pakistan manage and operate these facilities to the optimum level? That remains the central question. Our literacy rate is said to be an abysmal 62% (on ground it may be nearer 40%); Net Enrolment Ratio is only about 70% and such a low level in the 21st century is unfortunate; the population growth rate for both KP and Baluchistan provinces is closer to 2.9% against a national average of 2%. In addition, governance all over the country must be improved and all in powerful positions need to be held to account for the decisions taken. In particular, the police stations, district courts, the municipalities and land revenue offices must be made more responsive and accountable. Dispute adjudication should occur in days and weeks not years and decades.

The Chair also informed the seminar that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has immense potential for economic development as it has extensive hydro-power and mineral resources including huge deposits of oil and gas. The province needs to place emphasis on these sectors to provide employment to its rapidly growing population  which is well above the national level. Energetic industrialization is the most convenient way of absorbing this high population growth as KP’s irrigated land base was limited. He recalled the period between 1950-55 when the then Chief Minister, Khan Abdul Qaiyum, provided two very attractive incentives for the potential investors. Firstly, he committed to lowering electricity tariff by 50% as electric power before One Unit was a provincial subject. (This is partially the case again today). Secondly, he undertook the responsibility for acquiring and handing over land, roads and utilities to the investors. These facilities had a magical effect and led to dozens of industrialists from Karachi and Punjab into investing in a large number of large and medium-sized factories in the Nowshera-Amangarh area and at other places in the provinces. The Chair also informed that the provincial government has announced a major subsidy in electricity tariffs as well as lowered interest on financing for industrial units seeking to invest in the Special Economic Zones. These need to be followed up.

The Chair however cautioned that potential investors should not be troubled and hounded at every step. They need to be facilitated so that they do not waste their time and energy running from pillar to post seeking government approvals. A ‘One Window’ operation should be just such a facility which itself provides all the sanctions required. Currently in all parts of the country the investors have to seek nearly two dozen authorizations and permissions from different departments, Federal, Provincial and Local, which takes years and much expense. This must change. The Federal Board of Investment and the Provincial counterparts must take responsibility to provide all ‘NOC’s to investors within a given time-frame of not more than three months.

The provincial minister from KP highlighted the incentives being offered to the investors for facilitating industrial development. Soft-term loans, subsidies for electricity use, industrial parks and effective security have been offered. He stated that the province was recovering from a decade of extremist violence which had contributed to transfer of capital to other provinces. The situation was improving gradually as investors had started focusing on hydro-power, steel and mining ventures. The Special Economic Zones would play a central role in attracting investment in the province. There was the need to provide generous income, custom and sale tax exemptions by the Government of Pakistan so that the under-developed areas that suffered most from the recent violence can benefits through employment generation and poverty alleviation.

The provincial representative…. and the representative from the Planning & Development Ministry provided greater details of the projects and the programmes being undertaken under the CPEC umbrella.