Posted by : Ahsan Khan Monday, 23 April 2012


Resources like mineral, power, water and forest have a huge influence on the economic and social development of a country. Availability of natural resources is the necessary but not a sufficient condition of economic and social development. If a country is rich in resources and these resources are optimally used then there is more possibilities of economic and social development. Accordingly, there is positive relationship between natural resources and economic and social development.


The Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (1974) is the responsible authority for the support and development of the mining industry. Gemstones Corporation of Pakistan Limited (1978) looks after the interests of stake holders in gem stone mining and polishing as an official entity. Baluchistan is the richest province in terms of mineral resources available in Pakistan. While recently Sindh discovered coal deposits in Thar. Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa is rich in terms of gems. Most of the mineral gems found in Pakistan exist here. Apart from oil, gas and some mineral used in nuclear energy purposes which comes directly under federal control mining of other minerals is provincial issue. Currently around 52 minerals are minned and processed in Pakistan.
1. Coal
Coal which is also named as black gold is found into huge quantities in Thar, Chamalang, Quetta and other sites. Thar reserves are estimated 850 Trillion Cubic Feet. There is enough coal in Pakistan Thar area (though a part of coal is not of good quality) that it can be used for power generation for next 100 years without relaying on other i.e. hydro / oil resources. Pakistan recently discovered one low and four low-to-medium quality coal seams in the Punjab. Low sulfur coal was recently reported at the Baluchistan and near Islamabad. Bituminous, sub-bituminous, and lignite coal have been found in Pakistan. About 80% of coal is produced by government and 20% is produced by private sector.
It is one of the oldest industries. Its major users are iron, steel and bricks industries. Coal reserves are estimated at 175 billion tons. This would equate to 618 billion barrels of crude oil. When compared to oil reserves this is more than twice the amount of the top four countries. If At KSA’s current usage, the reserves would last more than 200 years.

2. Natural Gas

Natural gas production is at a high level in Pakistan. Estimated reserves are 885.3 billion cubic meters (as of January 2009). Gas fields are expected to last for another 20 years. The Sui gas field is the largest, accounting for 26% of Pakistan’s gas production. Gas deposits of Sui discovered in 1953. Daily production is 19 million cubic meters a day. Under the barren mountains of Balochistan and the sands of Sindh, there are untouched oil and gas reserves. Major users of natural gas areas are Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

3. Crude Oil
Pakistan's first oil field was in the late 1952 in Baluchistan near a giant Sui gas field. The Toot oil field was not discovered in the early 1960s in the Punjab. It covers 122.67 square kilometres (47.36 sq mi). Pakistan Petroleum and Pakistan Oilfields explored and began drilling these fields with Soviet help in 1961 and activity began in Toot during 1964. Pakistan has more than 326 million barrels of oil the Senate was told on Wednesday 29 January 2009.

4. Uranium production
Pakistan has a long history of exporting small amounts of uranium to the west. The Tumman Leghari mine in South Punjab, Baghalchur mine, Dera Ghazi Khan Mine and Issa Khel / Kubul Kel mines in, Mianwali District. Pakistan has recently used some in its own nuclear power and weapons programs. Pakistan produced about 45 tonnes of Uranium in 2006

5. Mineral Salt

Salt is being minned in the region since 320 BC. Khewra Salt Mines are among world oldest and biggest salt mines. Salt has been mined at Khewra since 320 BC, in an underground area of about 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi). Khewra salt mine has estimated total of 220 million tonnes of rock salt deposits. The current production from the mine is 325,000 tons salt per annum.

6. Copper & Gold

In Reqo Diq, Baluchistan deposits of copper and gold are present. Antofagasta the company having possession of Reqo Diq field is targeting initial production of 170,000 metric tons of copper and 300,000 ounces of gold a year.The project may produce more than 350,000 tons a year of copper and 900,000 ounces of gold. There are also presences of copper deposites in Daht -e- Kuhn, Nokundi, located in Chaghi district.

7. Iron Ore

Iron ore found in various regions of Pakistan including Nokundi, Chinot and the largest one in Kalabagh(Less than 42% quality),Harripur and other Northern Areas.

8. Gems and other precious stones

A number of precious stones are minned and polished for local as well as export purposes. The centre point of this operation is Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa. These includes Actinolite, Hessonite, Rodingite, Agate, Idocrase, Rutile, Aquamarine, Jadeite, Ruby, Amazonite, Kunzite, Serpentine, Azurite, Kyanite, Spessartine (garnet), Beryl, Marganite, Spinel, Emerald, Moonstone, Topaz, Epidote, Pargasite, Tourmaline, Garnet (alamandine), Peridot, Turquoise, Garnet (green, grossular), Quartz (citrin & others) and Vesuvianite. The export from these gems is more than 200 Million dollar.  


Electricity is one of major source of power in Pakistan due to improper use of coal and oil resources.
A. HYDRO ELECTRICITY:              
            Nature has provided suitable environment in Pakistan. To produce hydroelectricity environment is better for it. The northern and north western area of Pakistan is suitable for building of dams. We can produce hydroelectricity to create steep slopes in rivers and canals. Its best example is the Ghazi Barotha project in river Indus. Both public and private sectors have planned to increase the production of hydroelectricity in Pakistan. Pakistan's total hydroelectricity production is 4963 Megawatt. Pakistan has the capacity of production of 30000 MW from its river Indus, Jehlum and Chenab.
Important Hydroelectricity Stations
            There are three hydroelectricity stations working in Pakistan:
1. Tarbela Dam
            This dam is situated on Indus River. The Tarbela dam produces 70% of the total hydroelectricity production of Pakistan. Its installed generation capacity is 3478 MW. The Tarbela Dam was constructed in 1976 and its cost was about Rs.18 billions. This dam is about 9000 feet long. The Tarbela is one of the biggest dams of the world.
2. Mangla Dam
            This dam is located on Jehlum River. This dam installed generation capacity of power is 1000 MW which is 20% of total hydroelectricity of the country. This dam was constructed and completed in 1967 the height of this dam is 110 meters. This dam is made of concrete. This is second biggest dam in Pakistan.
            The Thermal power stations are generating electricity by gas, oil and coal in Pakistan. The 49.8% of the total electricity is produced by the thermal power. The thermal power production is 4921 MW in Pakistan. There are 13 thermal power stations working in Pakistan. The biggest station is working in Karachi this station generates 1756 MW. The second biggest station is working in Multan. It generates 260 MW.
Important Thermal Stations
            Other important thermal plants are in Faisalabad, Kotri, Pasni, Guddu, Jamshoro, Muzaffargarh, Sukkur and Larkana etc.
Future Plans
            A large number of projects have been planned to meet future energy requirements of Pakistan. This project is working rapidly. If this project works better than our country will make progress by leaps and bounds.
            The energy that we get from sun is called solar energy. The climate of Pakistan is extremely hot and dry. Pakistan is situated near the Tropic of cancer so the sun rays are vertical most of the year. These days are hot. That's why the season of summer is longer than winter in Pakistan. The sun rises most time. We can use this energy to the maximum in life. This is the cheapest source of energy.
Use of Solar Energy
            We have abundance of this energy but important thing is the maximum use of it. This energy is used to operate small machines and motor in future the solar energy will become the biggest source of energy of the world because other sources are costly and difficult to exploit.
1. Atomic Energy

            Atomic energy is the advance source of this world. Although this source of energy is very sophisticated and multi disciplinary system. As the rapid growth of population sources are also increasing at the same rate. That's why it is an important source of energy in developing countries.
2. Pakistan is an Atomic Power
            By the grace of Allah Pakistan has become a great Atomic Power. Pakistan has operated Atomic blasts in Chagi in Balochistan on 28 May 1998. Pakistan had to face many difficulties to achieve progress in the atomic program.
3. Nuclear Power Technology
            Nuclear Power technology was introduced in Pakistan in 1971 when a plant of 136 MW capacity namely Karachi. Nuclear power plant (KANUPP) was installed. This plant has been operating safely for more than 31 years. IN other important Cheshma nuclear power project is also working with the help of China. This has been connected to the national grid on June 13 2000. It has a gross capacity of 325 MW and is located near Cheshma Barrage on left bank of river Indus.


As per World Health Organization (WHO) report 80 percent of the diseases are due to unhygienic conditions and unsafe drinking water. Safe drinking water and proper sanitation are inseparable and critical to health.
According to ESP 2010-11 in Pakistan, currently over 65% of population is considered to have access to safe drinking water. More than 0.884 billion people lack access to safe water, and 2.5 billion lack access to basic sanitation. However, access to water remains difficult in Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, parts of Baluchistan, Tharparker and Cholistan.
1. Power Generation
Water is also essential for power generation in Pakistan, since about 29% is generated through hydropower.

2. Fishing Industry

The fishing industry plays a role in the national economy of Pakistan. The coastline is 814km and fishery resources still have room to grow. Fishing in Pakistan is a major source of export earnings.

3. Water for Home
            We drink water, cook with it, bathe in it, sprinkle our lawns with it, fill our backyard swimming pools with it - even create theme parks based on it. We need water in our homes, to brush our teeth, cook food and wash dishes.
4. Base for Life
Without water, there can be no life. In fact, every living thing consists mostly of water. Your body is about two-thirds water. A chicken is about three-fourths water, and a pineapple is about four-fifths water.  
5. Water for Agriculture Sector
Every plant, animal, and human being needs water to stay alive. We need water for irrigation, to raise crops in regions that do not get enough rain. It is estimated that 70% of world-wide water use is for irrigation. In some areas of the world, irrigation is necessary to grow any crop at all, in other areas it permits more profitable crops to be grown or enhances crop yield. 
6. Water in living things
            All living things need a lot of water to carry out their life processes. Plants, animals, and human beings must take in nutrients (food substances).  If the body loses more than 20 per cent of its normal water content, a person will die painfully. Human beings must take in about 2.4 liters of water a day.  
7. Water in our homes
            In our homes, we use far more water than the amount we need simply to stay alive. We require water for cleaning, cooking, bathing, and carrying away wastes. For many people, such water is a luxury. Millions of homes in Asia, Africa, and South America have no running water. The people must haul water up by hand from the village well, or carry it in jars from pools and rivers far from their homes.
8. Waterpower or Hydropower
            Water power, or hydropower, furnishes about 7 percent of the world's commercial energy. Where water flows from a high place to a lower one, the gravitational energy of the falling water can be captured and used to produce other forms of energy.  
9. Water for Industry
It is estimated that 15% of world-wide water use in industrial. Major industrial users include power plants, which use water for cooling or as a power source (i.e. hydroelectric plants), ore and oil refineries, which use water in chemical processes, and manufacturing plants, which use water as a dissolving something.
10. Fisheries
            Pakistan’s in land water bodies also support a thriving inland fisheries industry. Fish catches vary from place to place, with the largest yields associated with major lakes and dams.   
11. Water for Transport/Recreation
            Today, people still depend on water transportation to carry such heavy and bulky products as machinery, coal, grain, and oil.
People build most of their recreation areas along lakes, rivers, and seas. They enjoy water sports, such as swimming, fishing, and sailing.  
12. Environment and Tourism
            Explicit environmental water use is also a very small but growing percentage of total water use. Environmental water usage includes artificial wetlands, artificial lakes intended to create wildlife habitat, fish ladders around dams, and water releases from reservoirs timed to help fish eggs.
1. Wells or Tube-wells
 It is the oldest method of irrigation in Pakistan. Wells and Tube-wells system is successful where water level is high and where canal system is not common. Animal power and electricity is used for to obtain water from wells and tube-wells. To utilize ground water 0.7 million tube wells have been installed. 
2. Canals
Canal is an artificial waterway constructed for purposes of irrigation, drainage, or navigation, or in connection with a hydroelectric dam. Canal is the thing which brings river water close to the field where it is required to be.
 The irrigation system of Pakistan is one of the best one in the world due to the largest irrigation system in the world. In Pakistan, almost 75% of the land which is in agricultural use is covered by the irrigation system. Currently there are 3 large dams and 85 small dams, along with these dams there are 19 barrages to fulfill the water need. From these dams and barrages 12 inter link canals, 45 canals have been taken to provide water to the fields.
3. Perennial Canals:
These canals supply water throughout the year. Perennial canals are the canals that are used to supply water to the field and these are taken either from dams or barrages. Important Perennial Canals of Punjab are Upper Bari Doab, Lower Bari Doab, Sidhnai Canals, Upper and Lower Chenab, Upper Jhelum canals originating from Trimmu Headworks and Canals originating from river Sutlej at Ferozpur, Islam, Suleimanki and Panjnad Headworks.
4. Non-Perennial Canals:
These canals run during the summer and the rainy season. Sidhnai canals from the Ravi, Haveli canals from the Chenab and some of the Sutlej canals fall in this category.
5. Inundation Canals (Flood Canals):
These canals run only during the rainy season when water level in river rises. The quantity of water they supply is uncertain. These canals, like other canals, are taken from the rivers but the difference is that they get water when there is a rise in the water level due to flood. Many old canals from the Indus and the Chenab fall in this category. 
6. Link Canals
            Link canals are those canals which creates link between one river to an other rives to fulfill the shortage of water. There are a number of link canals constructed under Indus water treaty in Pakistan.
7. Karez
            Karez is also an irrigation system which is adopted only in Baluchistan province. It is an underground-short canal system which is built to carry water at the foothill to the fields. Karez system is very popular in Pashin and Quetta districts.



Forests are limited to 4% of Pakistan’s land; nonetheless the forests are a main source of food, lumber, paper, fuel wood and medicine. The forests are also used for wildlife conversation and ecotourism. 

According to ESP 2010-11, Pakistan is a forest deficient country, mainly due to arid and semi-arid climate in large parts of the country.  The area of natural forests and state-owned plantations declined at a rate of 27,000 ha/year but there was a 67 percent increase in the area of tree over farmlands. 
During the year 2010-11 forests have contributed 91 thousand cubic meters of timber and 261 thousand cubic meters of firewood as compared to 93 thousand cubic meters timber and 263 thousand cubic meters firewood in 2009-10.


Economic and social development of a country mainly based on the natural resources. Influence and importance of resources are discussed below:
1. More Production
            Natural resources are helpful to increase in level of productivity by applying modern techniques of production. If a country is rich in resources it means there are more possibilities to enhance the production.
2. Agriculture Development
            Availability of natural resources like fertile land, favourable climatic conditions and more water resources are necessary for the development of agriculture sector. Resources are also required to develop the agro based industries.
3. Industrial Development
            Development of agriculture sector means the development of industrial sector. Power and energy resources like oil and gas etc. are like primary requirement of industrial development. Iron and steel resources are helpful to develop the industrial sector.  Furniture and fishing industries are mainly depend upon natural resources.
4. Increase in Forex
            Pakistan is exporting food items, textile goods, petroleum and some other goods which is only and only possible due to availability of natural resources. Accordingly natural resources increase the forex resources of a country.
5. Infrastructure Development
            Development of infrastructure like water, sanitation, roads, energy and electricity is possible only with the help of various natural resources. Developed infrastructure is necessary for the economic and social development of a country.
6. Transportation
            Extraction of resources and movement of resources develops the transport system in a country. Transportations like railways, road, water and air transport is playing a vital role in the economic and social development of a country.
7. Communication
            Economic development mainly based on availability and proper use of resources. It leads to the development of communication system.  
8. High Living Standard
            Availability and proper use of natural resources is compulsory to improve the living standard of the population. Natural resources play very important role in the economic development that leads to high living standard.
9. More Employments
            Natural resources like forests, fisheries and oil extractions have provided a lot of jobs to population. More employment opportunities develop the social set up of a country.
10. Urbanization
            Utilization of natural resources has increased the process of urbanization in the country. It has developed some new cities and developed the some existing cities. 

{ 6 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. good one but there is lack of coherency ..

  2. thank you for sharing such a wonderful knowledge about Natural Resources of Pakistan products.
    mineral oil in Pakistan

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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