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August 29, 1999

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

Chinese seek joint venture in home appliances

A six-member Chinese delegation from the industrial city of Shanghai has expressed desire to enter into joint venture in home appliances and electronics with the Pakistan's businessmen.

In order to finalize such a joint venture the delegation members are conducting market survey on local consumption of these goods.

The Chinese team comprise officials from Ministry of Science and Technology and three industrial groups— Shanghai General Electronics, Shanghai Vacuum Electronics and Shanghai Shanglu Electronics.

Pharma industry declines to absorb 15 per cent GST

Local pharmaceutical manufacturers will not absorb the 15 per cent general sales tax (GST) on entire range of packing materials and non-active ingredients in their cost structure.

They have urged the government to either withdraw the GST or allow companies to pass on to the consumers, Chairman Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA), Khalil A. Nanitalwala told a press conference on Thursday.

Besides this, the manufacturers have put forward at least five to six demands before the government, including 10 per cent increase in prices of controlled items and 20 per cent hike in de-controlled drugs to offset the adverse impact of inflation, currency depreciation and utility charges since last three years.

He said that two to three months back, the government had agreed in principle to allow increase in drug prices but the authorities had been illy-dallying its implementation.

Khalil said the manufacturers believe that the price increase issue be settled through dialogue with the government instead of giving any deadline.

He said that he has received an authentic information from the Ministry of Health that the pricing matter would be presented to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for approval. He hoped that the next ECC meeting would settle the price increase issue.

As an alternative, the PPMA chief urged the government that price increases should be indexed to annual rate of inflation as announced by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the manufacturers will accept that rate of inflation. The indexation should be automatic and not subject to any consideration or decision by any government agency.

He said there should be no price difference for similar products of different manufacturers and price adjustment should be allowed across the board in lieu of the impact of the GST at the rate of five per cent of maximum retail price.

Micro hydel-power sector provides cheap electricity

More than 160 micro hydel-power generation units, mostly owned by village-based organisations are operating on self-sustained basis in Chitral district.

'The community-based micro hydel-power sector meets power requirements of over 20,000 families at rates much lower than the ones charged by WAPDA making these units most beneficial for the areas which remains out of the Authority's village electrification plan,' an official of the provincial government told.

Privatization Commission satisfied with its progress

Privatization of utilities, infrastructure and banking sector is successfully progressing in the phase of institutional restructuring and strengthening of regulatory regime. This was stated by the Chairman of Privatization Commission, Khawaja Mohammad Asif, while addressing the meeting of the Commission members here on Wednesday.

Asif said that arrangements "are being made" to ensure the interests of investors, labour and the consumers before the marketing of major public sector entities through competitive and transparent bidding.

The opening of oil and gas sector for privatization "has generated" great interest among national and international investors in the field, he said.

The meeting discussed the privatization of Habib Bank, Allied Bank and other transactions.

Duty Free Shops to be handed over to Swiss company

Duty Free Shops would be handed over to the sole bidder Weitnaver Holdings of Switzerland and modalities are being finalised to sign an agreement, the sources said on Tuesday.

The Privatization Commission (PC) has also completed Golden Handshake for its remaining 325 employees.

The agreement signing would take place in the next month the sources added.

The PC had invited expression of interests for the privatization of Duty Free Shops in early 1998. Five foreign companies shown their interest but only three parties were short-listed for prequalification.

Six more units declared sick

The Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has declared another six industrial units as sick and asked for preparing plan for their rehabilitation, official sources said on Monday.

These units were declared sick under sub section (1) of the Section 296 of the Companies Ordinance, on the recommendation of the "Task Force for Revival of Sick Industrial Units".

The Task Force constituted by the government has been provided with the legal cover to achieve the desired goal.

The six units declared sick are: New York Policlinic (pvt) Limited, Regent Dyeing & Finishing Mill Ltd; Regent Knitwear (pvt) Ltd; Bela Chemical Industries Ltd, Noorie Textile Mill Ltd; and Bisma Textile Mill Ltd.

8 international firms pre-qualified to bid for KESC

The Privatization Commission has prequalified eight international companies to bid for the purchase of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC).

In response to an offer from the Commission, a number of companies had applied to bid from all over the world. Only eight have been prequalified to bid, according to official sources.

The list of the eight bidders includes Daewoo and other companies from Europe and the UK.

Final decision to sell the KESC is yet to be taken. It will be sold to the highest bidder. If any other company's bid is higher than that of Daewoo, the KESC will be given to that company and not to Daewoo, sources said.