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The first day of “Pathways to Development: Equitable and Sustainable Growth in Pakistan” saw prominent academics, researchers, social scientists, practitioners, policymakers, politicians, and great minds from the Pakistani diaspora gather at LUMS to discuss issues vital to sustainable development in Pakistan. The conference was organised jointly by the Chaudhry Nazar Muhammad Department of Economics and the Mahbub ul Haq Research Centre at LUMS, the Institute of Development & Economic Alternatives (IDEAS), the Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex (IDS), Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR), International Growth Centre, and Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP).Rector, LUMS, Mr. Shahid Hussain, formally inaugurated the conference and expressed great pride in the University for being the frontrunner in furthering dialogue for development. He said, “The role of any academic institution is to nurture an environment where people with curious minds can pursue their goals. Higher education has a huge role to play in exchange of new ideas and research. For that reason, we are proud to be hosting this conference this year.” The inauguration session included participation from Mr. Mueen Afzal Chairperson of the Board of Director from Institute of Development & Economic Alternatives, Mr. Maroof A. Syed, President & CEO of Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan and Ms. Shandana Khan Mohmand, Cluster leader and Research Fellow at Institute of Development Studies.
Experts from the energy sector joined the LUMS community for a panel discussion, ‘Radical Solutions to Energy Challenges of Pakistan’ on December 14, 2022. The session was organised by the LUMS Energy Institute (LEI) in collaboration with the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) as part of the Grand National Dialogue (GND) by the Prime Minister's Office of Pakistan. The esteemed panel included Sheheryar Omer, CEO, Petroleum Institute of Pakistan; Naz Khan, Strategic Division Head, K-Electric and Dr. Fiaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director, LEI. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Naveed Arshad, Founding Member, LEI and Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering, LUMS. The session was a thought-provoking discussion on pertinent matters related to energy including the rising electricity prices in the country, how good management can solve energy issues, the reasons for fossil fuel imports amounting to $26 billion and the depletion of indigenous energy resources discovered in the country. Mr. Omer explained how the energy demands of the country are being met by importing fossil fuels and that with the growing economy, the demand for fuels is also increasing, adding to an already high cost due to the inflated price of the dollar. Ms. Khan shared the problems faced by K-Electric and said that although the organisation is privatized, it still has to face a lot of regulations and therefore, it can’t set its tariff. “Despite many regulatory challenges, the company has improved its customer service, reduced losses by half and improved bill recovery since its privatization. K-Electric is planning on adding renewables up to 30% of its power generation mix by 2030,” she shared.