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August 09, 1999

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

Japan offers $300m for development projects

Japan will offer 300 million dollars to Pakistan in 1999 for some of the on-going development projects, according to Japanese embassy press release issued.

Japan has emerged as the largest donor to Pakistan as it had disbursed 495 million dollars in 1998, despite sanctions Tokyo had imposed on Islamabad following the May 28,1998 nuclear tests.

"Japan has continued to extend assistance for the on-going projects such as OECF Yen loans, Grant Aid and Technical Cooperation", the press release said.

In 1998, the net disbursement of the Japanese assistance amounting to 495 million dollars included 424 million dollars in yen loans, 56.65 million dollars as Grant Aid and 13.94 million dollars as Technical Cooperation.

Furthermore, out of the 3.3 billion dollars worth of loans rescheduled by the Paris Club for Pakistan for two years, the Japanese share is about 700 million dollars.

The main reason why Japan's net disbursement in 1998 has increased so sharply was the inclusion in the total amount of the impact of Paris Club debt rescheduling.

Due to this debt relief, Pakistan was exempted from repaying the arrears outstanding at the end of 1998, while at the same time receiving a large amount of financial assistance for the new development projects committed before May 1998, as well as for the on-going projects.

Pakistan, thus, ranked the 5th largest recipient country of Japanese assistance out of 160 countries after China, Indonesia, Thailand and India. The share of Japan's assistance amongst the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries is expected to go up more than 127 per cent over its own share in 1997.

Plans for four small industrial estates

Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) is actively considering to establish four small industrial estates in Gujranwala region.

Informed sources said here on Thursday that the proposed industrial estates would be set up at Narowal, Hafizabad, Pindi Bhattian and Mandi Bahauddin .

A detailed survey in this connection has already been conducted by the PSIC for the selection of industrial estate sites. Apart from this the construction work on small industrial estate No-2 at Gujrat will also be carried out shortly.

27 pesticides samples found unfit

Criminal cases have been registered against some of the distributors/ manufacturers of pesticides whose samples were found unfit by the agriculture department.

It is learnt that the provincial agriculture department extension and pest warning wing have so far obtained samples from as many as 1,009 pesticides shops.

Out of these, test reports on some 521 have already been received.

Arrivals indicate good cotton crop

The arrivals of new crop phutti into the lower Sindh and the central Punjab ginneries have doubled during the first month of the new season indicating that growers are heading for a good crop after consecutive crop failures for the last three years.

According to unofficial ginning figures compiled by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) for the month of July, the ginneries have turned out 35,000 bales as compared to 17,000 bales ginned during the same period last year.

Over a dozen lower Sindh ginneries, which resumed operations a bit late, have so far turned out 16,000 bales and that of the central Punjab including those, which are still buying phutti from Sindh 19,000 bales.

SECP notifies 9 sick units for revival

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has notified nine sick industrial units for rehabilitation under section 296 of the Companies Ordinance.

Minister for finance and commerce Ishaq Dar, who chaired a high level meeting here on Tuesday for the revival of sick industrial units, was told that the task force on sick units had also identified another 22 cases to be recommended to the SECP for preparation of rehabilitation plans. As such rehabilitation measures have been taken for 131 sick units both through the efforts of the committee of bankers and that of the task force.

He told that despite difficulties, the government was providing all necessary financial and technical help to get many of the sick industrial units revived.

"It is a difficult task but we are at it", he said adding that the change of management also sometimes created problems in the rehabilitation of any particular unit.

Mr. Khan said that the issue of non performing loans would have to be looked into very seriously and that those units which could be revived with little help were being given the top priority.

Auto sector shows mixed performance

Pakistan's auto sector showed a mixed performance during 1998-99 as production of cars, tractors and buses have increased as against the fall in two wheelers, light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and trucks.

According to Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), car production (Toyota, Suzuki, Honda and Nissan) rose by 12.7 per cent to 38,619 units in 1998-99 compared to 33,684 units in 1997-98.

A car maker attributed the rise to cut in customs duty on import of completely knocked down (CKD) kits on cars about one and a half years back, resulting in price fall by 10-12 per cent.

Cotton purchase

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has claimed that the spinning industry has procured 6.92 million bales or 96% of the entire crop this season at an average price of Rs2,387 per maund as compared to international rate of Rs2,005 per maund prevailing during the first eight months.

In a statement here Thursday APTMA said the industry had thus paid Rsll billion over and above the international parity.