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ICCI welcomes Russian interest in energy projects

The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has welcomed the interest shown by the Russian Federation in Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline projects, which can help overcome the prevailing energy crisis in the country, a statement said on Saturday.

Asad Farid, acting president of the ICCI, said that completion of these energy projects would bring industrial revolution in the country and the government could also save on imports of furnace oil, which is currently being used in increased quantities to fuel power generation because of the gas shortage, it said.

The ICCI acting president said that the delay in fulfillment of export consignments has become a matter of routine due to power outages, the statement said.

“To meet the growing demands of energy, the government should execute these energy projects, which would make the country self-reliant.”

Farid expressed concern over soaring oil import bill by 43.52 percent to reach $12.583 billion during the first 10 months of the outgoing financial year 2011/12 against $8.768 billion in the same period last year, it said.

The oil imports comprise almost 40 percent of Pakistan’s total import bill that resulted in a huge trade deficit, thus, puts pressure on the local currency, he said, adding that the government could also curtail oil import bill by timely execution of the TAPI and IP projects.

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