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August 22, 1999

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

Industrial growth in 1998-99

The Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) sector is likely to register 3.5 per cent growth during the fiscal year 1998-99, after estimated at 2.7 per cent in first nine months.

This was informed during the meeting of the 'Subject Monitoring' chaired by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Ahsan Iqbal.

The meeting reviewed performance of the different sectors of the economy and discussed means to ensure that economic targets for the current fiscal year are met.

On the performance of the Industrial sector, it was informed that growth rate of LSM sector during July-May 1998-99 is recorded at 3.2 per cent and can be compared favourably with 2.7 per cent growth rate in first nine months.

The growth rate may increase further in June, it exceeds 3.2 per cent. The meeting was told that LSM output over the last four months have shown growth in excess of 5 per cent. Looking at the trend, it is expected that LSM growth will rise to 3.5 per cent.

A number of important industries such as beverages, vegetable ghee, cotton fabrics, cigrattes, fertilizers, tyres and tubes, automobiles and consumer durable have shown high growth rates during 1998-99.

Worms attack cotton crop

Pest scouting and agriculture department have warned the cotton growers that attacks of spoked worm have been reported in many areas which has surpassed the economic injury threshold.

The farmers were advised to organize pest scouting twice a week across their fields if they found the damages beyond economic injury level. They should immediately spray their crop in consultation with the experts of the agriculture department.

Sources said that the grasshoppers had also attacked a few fields a fed where losses may have been beyond economic injury level. They said that pest scouting was intensified in Muzaffargarh, Leiah, Kotadu, Alipur, Jatoi, Vehari, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur Rahimyarkhan, Multan, Shujabad, Jalalpur Pirwala, Lodhran, Kehror Pucca, Duniyapur, Mailsi, Arifwala, Burewala, Kabirwala, Khanewal and MianChunnu. It was noticed that less than 40 per cent fields were partly affected by spotted worms and grasshoppers.

Plan to promote cottage industries

The Punjab government has prepared an integrated plan for the promotion of small and cottage industries aimed at bringing about rapid industrial progress in the province in particular and the country in general.

The government has taken this decision to enlarge the scope of employment by promoting the cottage industries in Punjab.

Sale of IDBP units

Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan (IDBP) has received enquiries from over 150 domestic and foreign parties for 97 industrial units indentified by the bank for disinvestment.

"With the help of our missions abroad we have attracted foreign buyers also," said IDBP's Managing Director, Javed Sadiq.

He said the local banking courts have already issued decrees in favour of the bank.

About two months back, IDBP had announced auction/ disinvestment of 97 units which were declared sick or owners of these companies failed to pay back the borrowed funds.

Task force working on industrial plan

The federal ministry of industries is formulating an industrial plan to escalate the process of industrialization in the country and remove the bottlenecks in the way of local and foreign investment.

This was stated by federal industries secretary Abu Shamim Ariff while addressing Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) members here on Tuesday. LCCI president Pervez Hanif welcomed the guest.

Ariff said a task force is working on the formulation of the plan and its blueprint will be circulated among chambers and businessmen to elicit the proposals and suggestions of the private sector to improve upon it.

SECP starts scrutiny of companies' record

Records of about 750 public limited companies are being scrutinised to determine whether they have applied the tools as required under the law for maintaining the records on performance and dividends payment to shareholders.

The long overdue measures are being taken in the backdrop of the latest tax incentive allowed to these companies by the government on payment of dividends, was informed by officials of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Monday.

SECP commissioner, Zafarul Haq Majazi explained that these measures are being taken at an unprecedented speed, after grant of 10% exemption from tax on reserves in case of dividends paid to shareholders from at least 40% of the companies' profits.

He said a large number of defaulting companies which did not pay the shareholders dividends, have been categorized into three disciplines: those facing, or on the verge of, bankruptcy; those afflicted by the internal mismanagement; and those profiting but not paying dividends.

He added that 109 companies have been issued notices under Sec 265 of the Companies Ordinance, '84. Another 28 have been put on inspection roll, of which 23 have promised to pay the due dividends.

Texfile-being the largest sector of public limited companies, there are 33 leasing companies, and 50 modarba companies, records of all being scanned to determine whether they are applying the tools essential for transparency, good governance, efficiency in monitoring investment trends, appointment of managers in democratic way, and induction of the relevant, updated technological tools and methods for modernization.

Commissioner Majazi said all stake holders in the limited companies need to be vigilant to ensure that the investments are secured in the best possible ways and went on to explain that through regular monitoring and auditing of the financial operations, the SECP would ensure that no defaulting persons or groups are allowed to remain in the stocks business.