. .

1_popup_home.gif (1391 bytes) news.gif (6529 bytes)



  1. International
  2. Finance
  3. Industry
  4. Policy
  5. Trade

Diplomats allowed to open special FCY account

The State Bank on Thursday allowed diplomatic missions and international organizations in Pakistan to open special foreign currency accounts for remitting foreign currency abroad.

On July 5 SBP had barred diplomatic missions and international organizations in Pakistan from opening their foreign currency accounts. It had asked them to use a convertible rupee account for the time being. The SBP offered no reason for the reversal of the decision within three days but government sources said the earlier decision had drawn spontaneous appeals of withdrawals.

No loans for new flour mills: SBP

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday directed all commercial banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) not to provide loans for establishment of new flour mills.

The SBP directive follows a decision of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of Cabinet on July 1.

The central bank further directed for immediate implementation of the directives.

Funding of Rousch project okayed

The government has approved a proposal to finance the cost overrun of Rousch power project, a private power producer amounting to around $70 million, it is learnt.

Knowledgeable sources told that the energy committee of NDFC has approved the financing amounting to $70 million to meet the cost overrun of Rousch. This, according to insiders, has been done without the knowledge of Wapda and against the advise of concerned finance ministry officials.

The Energy Committee of NDFC said to have approved this financing to Rousch following a verbal directive from the finance ministry. This proposal has been pending since long because of the opposition of the authorities who were not ready to finance the cost overrun of the project from Long Term Credit Fund loan.

The sources said that the NDFC had decided that $50 million would be provided to Rousch from the available World Bank's loan Long Term Credit Fund — for energy sector development projects while the rest of the financing would be bridged through the receipt money of the already dispersed LTCF.

The World Bank had provided almost $1 billion power sector loan to Pakistan, $800 million of which have already been utilized.

The Rousch management had told the finance ministry that the cost overrun of its project was the consequence of delays caused by Wapda so the government should finance it from the loan it had acquired from the LTCF loan.

The company had indicated that if it was not provided $70 million immediately from this WB loan then it would go into international arbitration and pursue the government for causing default in the progress of the project.

Chinese team explores investment potentials

Chinese investors have expressed intentions to invest in Pakistan in the sectors of computers, telecommunications, petroleum, industry, agriculture, writing paper, infrastructure, construction and textile.

Addressing here on Thursday an investment and trade seminar arranged jointly by a visiting Chinese businessmen's delegation and Islamabad/Rawalpindi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Yang Cheng De, the leader of the Chinese delegation said the seven Chinese companies represented by his delegation were keenly interested to explore the opportunities of investment and trade in sectors beneficial to both countries.

Govt asked to get rid of WAPDA pilferage

The World Bank has asked the government to urgently restructure of Central Board of Revenue (CBR) and also to remove pilferage in WAPDA for effectively increasing the revenuein these two organizations.

Pakistan was also told to considerably enhance its exports which were down by 16 per cent during 1998-99. The government was expected to take concrete steps to increase exports during the current financial year.

Vice President of the World Bank Ms Meiko Nishimizu held 2-hour long meeting with Minister for Finance and Commerce Ishaq Dar here on Wednesday and discussed with him the affairs of the CBR and WAPDA.

Dryport seeks 5-year tax holiday

Chairman Faisalabad Dry Port Trust (FDPT) Mushtaq Ali Cheema, has demanded that the federal government should exempt the upcountry dry ports set up in the private sector from income tax and other levies at least for a period of five years so that these projects can invest their earnings over their development programmes.

'Govt has authority to regulate kerb market'

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Tuesday, the kerb market dollar rate will not be allowed to fluctuate beyond Rs 1.50 vis-a-vis the inter-banking rates.

'We want to have a total free market economy but at the same time want to eradicate the speculative element,' he said at a press briefing, held to unveil details of loan-rescheduling arrangements with the London Club creditors.

'This is high time to further discipline the market which is in accordance with the international practice,' the Minister said.

Riaz Malik made acting CBR chief

Riaz Malik, former Member Customs, CBR, has taken over as acting Chairman CBR following departure of Mian Iqbal Farid to Geneva on Tuesday.

CBR sources solid Riaz lfilik, who relinquished the charge of Additional Secretary (Budget) at the ministry of finance, was asked by the Establishment Division on Monday to take over as Farid has gone on leave.