Sophia Siddiqui

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan should not stop oil imports altogether in this period of historically low oil prices in the international market. Instead, this opportunity should be used to build up the country’s weak strategic oil reserves. This is suggested by Policy Pak, a policy research and advocacy organization in Islamabad. Irfan Shahzad Takalvi, CEO of the organization says while crude is selling at $23 per barrel in the international market, this is an ideal time to increase Pakistan’s oil stocks to be used in difficult times. He further adds that Saudi and UAE’s oil facility on deferred payments must be utilized for this purpose. While stopping oil imports may help contain trade deficit and Current Account Deficit (CAD), beefed-up oil reserves would prove to be a much better gamble, in the long run, he added. Policy Pak’s recommendation is based on the research output of a pool of seasoned researchers and experts. The organization recommends that building oil stocks would be a worthy decision even if foreign liabilities increase somewhat coz of this move.

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