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POLICY

August 09, 1999

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

Soft drinks dearer by Re1 per bottle

The beverage producers have raised the prices of cold drinks by Re1 per bottle from August 1.

According to a soft drink maker in SITE area, the price of 250ml bottle has risen to Rs8 from Rs7 and that of 300ml bottle to Rs9 from Rs8.

Similarly the crates of 250ml and 300ml have increased by Rs24 to Rs 167 and Rsl89, respectively.

Urea makers seek $15-20 per ton dumping duty

Urea producers have proposed an antidumping duty, ranging from 15-20 dollar per ton on the C&F cost of imports coming from Russian republics.

The local producers, who presented their case before the National Tariff Commission (NTC) on Aug 2, have pleaded that imports less than C&F $105 per ton should be considered as dumping.

"We have prepared our case based on the cost, domestic selling prices and difference between local and import cost," said an industry source.

The NTC is likely to give its verdict within a week. If NTC proposes an anti-dumping duty the final decision rests with the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet.

Govt may waive-off mark-up on CEC loans

Government is considers to waive off mark-up on the balance outstanding against 58 ginners who had borrowed from the Cotton Export Corporation (CEC) during 1982-89 period.

Official sources said the principal amount outstanding against these ginners was Rsl5.547 million, while the markup has gone up to Rs39.108 million.

According to sources, the CEC had advanced a total Rs435.243 million loan during 1982-89 period to as many as 528 cotton ginning factories against the booking of their production. The major objective of these loans was to enable the ginners to modernize their factories and produce good quality cotton.

Out of total loan advances, a sum of Rs419.696 million has already been recovered by the CEC through court proceedings against its defaulters. Besides, recovery of principal amount, Rs20 million have also been obtained as loan mark-up.

Sources said it is also being considered that the ministry of commerce should authorize the CEC to settle the account of defaulting gmners by taking only decree amount. In case parties agree to pay the decree amount, then the amount of mark-up on outstanding SGS/modernization loans may be waived off. It will facilitate recovery of outstanding principal amount of Rsl5.547 million immediately, sources said.

Sources said the cases of the following ginning parties are under consideration for the waiver of mark-up.

No US probe into Pakistan Fund losses

Morgan Stanley one of the biggest investment firm on Wall Street, whose Pakistan Fund floated in 1997 almost busted, ostensibly due to lack of credible management, is in deep trouble with US authorities over a gender discrimination issue.

While the US authorities are vigorously pursuing two cases of discrimination against Morgan Stanley — one of racial discrimination another of gender discrimination — yet the issue of mismanagement of a Pakistan Fund (PKF), which resulted in losses to the investors, is not being investigated.

"The reason is simple and not very surprising," said one Wall Street analyst. "Pakistan fund and its performance due to lack of mismanagement or otherwise does not bleep high on the radar screen of the US Securities Commission, which regulates the investment firms."

Govt to float TFCs to finance PM's Housing Scheme

The Federal Government will float Term Finance Certificates (TFCs) redeemable in 16 to 18 months to finance the Prime Minister's Housing Scheme and there shall be no subsidy either from the banking system or Federal Budget, said Senator Saifur-Rehman Khan.

Unveiling the programme to the bankers, on Tuesday, he said, we would like this programme to be kept on a low profile but at the same time it would be high on accomplishment.

The contractors have been listed to build five categories of houses where the subsidy on low cost categories would be cross-subsidised from the profit on higher quality houses with a minimum of three bedrooms.

The individuals will be required to pay back the house loan in 15 years with 18 percent mark-up. Banks are free to reduce the markup but it has to be standardised, Saif added.

Banks would bid for the TFCs at zero coupon of short tenure. This, he said, would provide the seed money to get the construction going.

Four IPPs offer reduced rates

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was informed on Tuesday that four of the IPPs have offered reduced rates to Wapda during the latest negotiations in a bid to resolve the two-and-a-half year old dispute.

The disclosure came in a meeting convened by the Finance Minister who has lately seen appointed chairman of the 2-member committee to deal with the issue.

Attended by the government officials who have been dealing with the issue in past, the meeting was described as a "warmup" exercise for Ishaq Dar who along with Wapda Chief Lt. Gen. Zulfiqar Ali Khan is likely to commence negotiations with the IPPs later this week.

Asian Bank cancels $243m unutilised project loans

A spring cleaning exercise of ADB loans to Pakistan resulted in cancellation of loans amounting to $243 million and involving several projects. The cancelled funds would go back to the Bank. Sources stated that this would enabled the Bank to negotiate new loans for project which would move faster. However, the money would not come back to this country, they added.

Sources told that some of the cancelled loans were ten years old projects and delay in implementation was holding up ADB funds.

The unutilised amount includes $178.8 million of concessional ADF (Asian Development Fund) and $135 million of the OCR (ordinary credit resources).

Moreover, the cancellation of the loans would also save commitment charges.

The largest cutting came from sixth project of Kesc which was due to be completed last December, from which $64 million of OCR and $59 million of ADF went back, as the project was dropped.