The natural resources consist of lands, Water, forest, minerals, power and climatic conditions. Basically, Pakistan is not poor in natural resources. We have fertile land; a good irrigation system and ; a satisfactory amount of natural gas and other minerals. The area of Pakistan is 18% of total area of seven countries of South Asia, while our population is 10% of total population of South Asian countries.
We have the possibility of producing hydro-electricity five times more than the present capacity of producing electricity. All this shows that we process the basic of factors of economic growth. But the real problem lies with us in the deficient and improper utilization of resources. It is discussed in sub headings:
- Our agriculture sector is prey to a lot of troubles and hazards. The lands are being divided and subdivided; they are prey to water logging and salinity. The majority of the peasants are the poor; they have reduced access to loans; they fail to use modern equipment and high yielding varieties of seeds; most of farming is of subsistence and mixed nature, it has not been commercialized; the farmers lack the warehouses and cold-storage facilities; there are heavy fluctuations in the prices of agriculture goods; there is the operation of malpractices in agriculture markets which lead to reduced prices for agriculture goods and reduced incomes for the farmers; the natural vagaries like dry weather, heavy rains, floods, and virus etc badly affect the agriculture produce and; the agriculture extension programs have been least fruitful for majority of the farmers.
- Because of all these problems in agriculture there prevails uncertainly and reduced profitability in agriculture sector. Consequently, we have not been able to increase agriculture production to the desirable extend. Accordingly, the contribution of agriculture sector in national income has been far below the desired level.
Forests play an important role in the economic development of a country. It is said that the forest must comprise 25% of total area of the country. But in our country, only 4% of total area is consisted of the forests. As a nation we lack the desire and zeal for plantation. The plantation regarding “popular and eculiptus” can bee made alongside the roads, canals and in the fields etc. The forests can make the nation self-sufficient in the production of wood as well as can earn foreign exchange for the country. Thus, because of ignoring this natural resources, we are depriving ourselves from the wealth what otherwise could have been earned.
- The minerals resources like oil, gas, iron, coal, copper and bronze etc are pf greater important for a country. As all of increase in per capital income of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bronai-Dar-U-Salam is attributed to the oil and gas resources. But unluckily, we fail to utilize our mineral resources. The oil and gas exploration is far below the requirements of the country. The domestic production of crude oil per day is about 70 to 75 thousand barrels which is less than even one third of total needs of the country. The natural gas- the white gold is being wasted in cooking the foods and breads. Because of financial, technical, administrative and political reasons the mineral resources cannot be developed, I.e the copper, silver, bauxite, iron, and coal etc cannot be discovered. Perhaps, because of official formalities, the Sandak mines and “Lakhra Coals” will yield after many years.
- We have a long chain of mountains and hills in N.W.F.P. The mountains have a lot of attraction for the tourists both from country and from outside the country. But such recreational spots have hardly been developed; the facilities for tourists at such remote places are very poor and; properly utilized the God given glaciers, ice-covered mountains, cold hill stations, and their products and by-products. Accordingly, we fail to get enough revenues from this sector of the economy.
- We have been endowed with a variety of resources, particularly the water resources. The water resources is attained through heavy rains and snow falling on mountains during the winter. As a result of such natural-water, we have rivers and hills streams etc. With such water, the hydroelectricity is produced through dams and the irrigational facilities are provided to the cultivable lands. All this mean that water is contributing greatly by producing power as well making itself available for the growth of agriculture sector. But sorry to say, every year a greater quantity of water is wasted when such flown water ultimately joins with sea water. In such circumstances there is a big need to construct the mud dams which will not only produce electricity at reduced costs. But they will also provide reservoirs for water in the country. The gravity of situation can be realized due to shortfall of electricity worth 4000MW in June 2013.