Rains destroy cotton crop
Heavy rains have destroyed about 39 per cent of cotton crop in Ghotki
and Sukkur districts (surveyed areas) and as a result of this water has remained stagnant
in the crop.
This was revealed in a fortnightly weather and cotton report ending
August 31,1999 of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC), presented to federal minister
food and agriculture, Abdul Sattar Lalika on August 31.
ADB power restructuring loan facing problems
The ADB assistance for KESC (Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation)
for power sector restructuring is facing several problems which might delay the release of
$ 250 million loan and put it off to the next financial year. Originally, its approval was
due in calendar year 1999.
Sources told that movement on the approved plan of action between the
government and ADB has been slow.
Several measures were to be adopted before an appraisal mission could
come to Pakistan, but it appears no such mission is in sight till the set of conditions is
It is learnt that the government had to take at least eight steps for
the project to move forward. Of these, only two have been taken so far while others await
The first step was the approval of a financial package, which was done
some months ago. The next was to appoint the financial advisers, which was to have some
consultancy sub-contracts, which, too, has made some headway.
Besides work relating to corporate, technical, commercial and legal due
diligence is being processed.
The power sector restructuring loan envisaged completion of formalities
some time in 1998. Apart from economic sanctions, which came in May 98, the implementation
on other steps was stalled because of the row with IPPs.
But a number of other issues are also to be completed yet. These
include: Completion of Nepra regulations for issuing licences and tariff orders is
behind schedule; Completion of financial model; Resolution of labour issues;
and Completion of deregulatory due diligence.
Once these steps are completed, the work on documentation by the
government, ADB and the concerned agencies would start, which may not take long, sources
PM directs MoP to augment oil, gas exploration
Expressing dissatisfaction over the slow progress of petroleum
exploration, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday directed the Petroleum Ministry to
work on emergency basis to explore more oil and gas wells.
Chairing cabinet meeting here, the Prime Minister also refused to
approve Petroleum Exploration policy draft proposals and said that the policy has no
concrete framework to achieve the energy targets in future.
The Prime Minister expressed that natural gas should be supplied
throughout the country to facilitate the general public without any discrimination, the
The Cabinet was given a briefing by Petroleum and Natural Resources
Secretary Dr Gulfaraz Ahmad on the recent gas discoveries.
Two more units declared sick
The Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has declared
Farooq Habib Textile Mills and Khawaja Spinning Mills Ltd as sick and asked the Task Force
on sick units to draw up plan for their rehabilitation.
The "Task Force for Revival of Sick Industrial Units"
constituted by the government has been provided with the legal cover to make
rehabilitation plan for the sick units to revive them.
With these two units, the total number of industrial outfits declared
sick by the SECP has come to 17.
Development of sugar by-products stressed
Pakistan sugar industry will remain uncompetetive in the world market
as long as it does not develop by-products to reduce the cost of production.
This was a unanimous view of sugar experts at the concluding session of
34th Convention of the Pakistan Society of Sugar Technologists (PSST) held here on Tuesday
at a local hotel.
The experts also emphasized on the need for having government-industry
collaboration in developing by-products of sugar and PSST assured its cooperation in
achieving this goal.
It was pointed out that in countries like Colombia where 10 to 12 sugar
units are operating, as many as 34 by-products are being manufactured by the industry.
Against this they said in Pakistan a huge production base of 77 medium and large size
units have yet to introduce any by-product.
SMEDA's marble, granite development sector plan
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority's (SMEDA) marble and
granite sector development plan setting an ambitious target of lifting the marble and
granite exports from $4 million m the 1998-99 financial year to $40 million in a
three-year time would soon be launched sources told.
"SMEDA's marble and granite sector development plan is almost
final and would be launched shortly after approval by the Authority's chairman Khawaja
Bilal and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif," Sultan Tiwana, regional chief, SMEDA, NWFP
Presentations [on the development plan] to the SMEDA chairman and later
to the prime minister are likely to take place in the near future.
Shortage of irrigation water
Sindh Chamber of Agriculture at a meeting held here under the
chairmanship of Mir Murad Ali Shah Talpur expressed surprise over shortage of irrigation
water in Jacobabad, Larkana, Dadu, Naushero Feroz, Nawabshah and Hyderabad districts.
The participants of the meeting were not convinced that there was any
genuine cause for the shortage of canal water since the drawing for the day at the Sukkur
Barrage stood at 56,720 cusecs.