WHERE DOES SINDH STAND?

S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Research Analyst
, PAGE
Oct 3 - 9, 2011

Sindh is a major centre of economic activity in Pakistan and has a highly diversified economy having from heavy industrial base and finance center at Karachi to a substantial agricultural base along the Indus River.

According to the latest Pakistan labor force survey 2009-10, the overall literacy rate (age 10 years and above) is 57.7 per cent compared to 57.4 per cent for 2008-09.

Literacy rate in Punjab stood at 59.6 per cent, Sindh 58.2 per cent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 50.9 per cent, and Balochistan 51.5 per cent. According to LFS 2009-10, labour force increased from 53.72 million in 2008-09 to 54.92 million in 2009-10.

The numbers of labour force rose in Punjab and Sindh and decreased in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan. Changes were more prominent in case of female in northern provinces as compared to southern ones. The volume of unemployed increased from 2.93 million in 2008-09 to 3.05 million in 2009-10.

Volume of unemployed persons increased in urban Punjab and Sindh, while decrease was registered in urban KPK and in Balochistan.

Pakistan has huge coal resources estimated at over 185 billion tones, including 175 billion tones identified at Thar coal fields in Sindh.

Pakistanís coal generally ranks from lignite to sub-bituminous. About 56.5 per cent of total coal in the country has been consumed by the brick kilns industry whereas 42.7 per cent by cement industry during the period July-March 2010-11.

To meet the growing demand of energy and achieve the target of 9700 MW generation by the year 2030, the alternative energy development board (AEDB) has taken various initiatives. Under the remote village electrification program, AEDB is to electrify 7874 remote off grid villages in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

Further, the country is blessed with a huge solar potential of more than 5-6 KWH/m≤/day of irradiation in many areas. The potential is feasible for both Solar PV and solar thermal application. The area with highest solar potential is the province of Balochistan followed by Eastern Sindh and Southern Punjab promising technical and financially viable solar energy projects.

These projects can be on-grid or off-grid. Some areas in Eastern Sindh and Southern Punjab also have potential for such interventions. As a first phase, AEDB plans to electrify 400 villages, 100 in Sindh and 400 in Balochistan. 49 villages in Sindh have already been electrified where 3000 solar home systems are installed.

AEDB has issued five LoIs of cumulative capacity of 113 MW for installation of Solar PV parks in Sindh and Southern Punjab.

Solar thermal power generation using concentrated solar power technology (CSP) is a viable option because of its promising potential. These power plants of medium to large capacities (10-50 MW) can be installed in Southern Punjab and Eastern Sindh and Balochistan because of the availability of water in these areas.

The devastating flood of 2011 has caused a severe blow to the road infrastructure in Sindh by destroying about 10 per cent of the road network. Many sections of the roads in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) are wiped out by unprecedented flood.

These devastating floods and widespread monsoon rains have cast a negative impact on crops and affected the yield of cotton, chilli, banana and tomato in Mirpur Khas, Tharparker, Sanghar, Badin and Hyderabad in Sindh.

The floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Sindh have caused an estimated loss of $7 billion to the agrarian economy of the country as over 2.5 million bales of cotton, two million tons of Irri-6 rice, four million tons of sugarcane and many other small crops have been destroyed besides, killing 0.1 million cattle head in the province. Agriculture growth and exports targets for the current fiscal year are feared to be missed in the wake of floods in Sindh that damaged 80 per cent cotton and other crops on 1.7 million acres agricultural land, forcing the federal government to launch national appeal to cope with massive devastation in the province.

The vegetable prices in the market were likely to shoot up after the rainy season because in every season, crops from Sindh reach the markets earlier than those from Punjab. Hence, there was urgent need for reconstruction. It was estimated that more than 20 people were killed by a viral disease as a result of rain and floods in Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Sanghar, Tharparkar, Badin and Tando Muhammad Khan.

Thousands of displaced people have been affected by malaria, skin conditions and abdominal diseases in the flood-hit areas. The railway tracks from Mirpurkhas to Nawabshah were completely inundated, bringing train service from Hyderabad to Mirpurkhas to a halt.

CONCLUSION

Sindh is the backbone of Pakistanís economy. It generates almost 80 per cent of the total revenue. There is a need of huge investments to explore potential resources in the province.

UNEMPLOYED Ė PAKISTAN AND SINDH PROVINCE (million)

. 2008-09 2009-10
. TOTAL MALE FEMALE TOTAL MALE FEMALE
Sindh 0.44 0.28 0.16 0.56 0.34 0.22
Rural 0.14 0.06 0.08 0.23 0.12 0.11
Urban 0.30 0.22 0.08 0.33 0.22 0.11