The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said that differences over the construction of dams and the lack of water storage capacity are inflicting an annual loss of $3.5 billion to the national economy.
The dismal storage capacity of eight per cent, water disputes and differences over mega dams have inflicted a loss of around billions of dollars to the country in the last 45 years, he said.
Dr Murtaza Mughal said that the country will continue to face the losses as policymakers seem uninterested in formulating a proper water policy and strategy.
“We are divided over important issues while India has constructed 171 dams in occupied Kashmir to generate 28,000 MW of cheap electricity to propel its economy,” he noted.
He said that on the other hand we rely on costly options to generate power which has taken a toll on the masses as well as the industry which is facing difficulties in remaining competitive.
Dr Murtaza Mughal said that agriculture is said to be the backbone of the economy but only eight per cent of the 145 million acre feet of water is stored annually.
Proper water storage requires three mega dams, he said, adding that the country has not built a single mega dam in the last 41 years.
The most important offices of the Indus River System Authority and that of Indus Water Commissioner lack proper budget, staff and equipment, he added.