PESHAWAR: Pakistan is poised to overhaul its energy planning strategy, drawing lessons from China’s successful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Experts warn against unrealistic goals and advocate for a data-driven, strategic approach focused on efficiency, security, and sustainability.
Dr. Shahid, a key figure in the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, emphasizes the need to transition from “wishful thinking” to a fact-based approach. He criticizes past five-year plans for lacking concrete action and proposes a paradigm shift inspired by China’s NDRC, known for its robust macroeconomic management and strategic planning.
Dr. Shahid urges Pakistan to move away from the “ostrich phenomenon” – burying its head in the sand rather than confronting challenges. He calls for well-defined goals and timely decisions, with the upcoming 13th Five-Year Plan (2024-2029) serving as a turning point.
The new plan focuses on several key objectives:
Aggressive energy conservation: A 2% annual improvement in energy efficiency by 2029.
Reduced import dependency: Diversifying energy import sources and forging strategic partnerships.
Geo-economic security: Utilizing regional cooperation and “5+5 year revolving planning” to enhance economic stability.
Sustainable energy mix: Achieving 60% renewable energy by 2030 through targeted investments and fuel sourcing strategies.
Deregulation in oil and gas: Eliminating monopolies and fostering competition in the import infrastructure.
While drawing inspiration from China’s approach, experts caution against simply replicating its model. Pakistan’s unique challenges and resource mix require a tailored strategy that meets its specific needs and aspirations.
Dr. Shahid concludes with a powerful message: “The time for change is now. The future of Pakistan’s energy landscape hinges on decisive action and strategic planning.” By embracing a data-driven, forward-thinking approach, Pakistan can ensure a more secure, efficient, and sustainable energy future for its citizens.