ADBP asked to ensure
credit for tractor sale
The ministry of industries and production has asked the Agriculture
Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP) to ensure availability of funds for payment to supply
of tractors on credit.
The ministry pointed out in its letter that the ADBP had stopped
payments against supply of tractors as reported by tractor and part makers.
"The hindrance in granting financing through ADBP would not only
affect the momentum to manufacture parts manufacturers but would also reduce tractor
supply eventually damaging the agriculture output," the ministry said in its letter.
It urged the bank to allocate sufficient funds for early payment of
tractors supplied under Green Tractor Scheme (GTS) of the prime minister as the assemblers
have geared-up their efforts to meet the govermnent's production target of 40,000 units
for 1999-2000, whereas in July-August 1999 they produced 6,000 units.
White oil pipeline
Pak Arab Refinery Ltd. (Parco) is in dialogue with the government to
get 45 million dollars adjusted, which it paid as duties and taxes, against guarantees the
company has to submit with regard to another project of White Oil Pipeline, it is learnt.
"Whereas Parco's mid-country refinery project is a tax free
project (under the agreement), the sponsors have so far paid 45 million dollars in duties
and taxes to the exchequer", a senior official of the company said.
Dar's visited to focus on suspended loans
As finance minister Ishaq Dar prepares to go Washington to attend the
annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in the coming week, at the top of his agenda
will be the request to restore the suspended loan programme for Pakistan, under which a
tranche of $280 million has been withheld by IMF.
Ishaq Dar, however, contends that he is going to Washington to attend
the meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. Dar is hopeful that the talks for the release
of the tranche will be finalized before he steps on to the plane for Washington. Senior
finance ministry officials believe otherwise.
For Pakistan, which currently has over $1.5 billion in foreign exchange
reserves, it is more the IMF endorsement and less the actual funds that the government is
hoping will be given to it at this stage.
"If the IMF resumes its programme by releasing the tranche to
Pakistan, it will be an endorsement that Pakistan desperately needs", says economist
Akbar Zaidi. The signal that IMF has accepted the deviations that Pakistan has made in its
initial agreement in January, that paved way for the restoration of the $1.6 billion
For its part, the IMF is in an unforgiving mood. Despite pronouncements
to the contrary, it has not taken kindly to the Prime Minister's Housing Programme and the
inability of Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, a promise that prime
minister Nawaz Sharif had given in December 1998. While foreign minister Sartaj Aziz
insists that Pakistan had given the precondition that US sanctions against Pakistan be
lifted before Pakistan signs on the dotted line, IMF officials say that this is not the
The Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Food, Agriculture
and Livestock recommended to the Government to take immediate steps to introduce
"Fair Cotton Price Policy" to help growers get better return.
Gas pipeline talks with foreign firms under way
Foreign oil and gas exploration companies are looking at building a
600-km pipeline to carry natural gas from the rich Kirthar fields in Sindh to Multan in
Punjab, Industry sources said.
The companies involved in the discussions are Pakistan units of Lasmo
Plc, Premier Oil Plc, Shell Exploration B.V. and Australia's Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd.
Austrian OMV AG and British Borneo.
He said three fields in the area Zamzama, Bhadra and Dumbar
were the key to the plan. Industry analysts estimate the three have reserves of around 3
trillion cubic feet.
Govt not to allow raise in urea prices: Laleka
The federal government will not allow urea fertilizer factories to
increase prices of the commodity on the pretext of recent hike in the natural gas tariffs.
"We will never allow them to hike the price of this important
agro-chemical, and will ensure its smooth availability during the upcoming wheat
sowing", Federal Food and Agriculture Minister, Mian Abdul Sattar Laleka said.
The urea offtake during the coming rabi season is estimated to be
around 2 million tonnes which will be met through domestic production.
Car prices increased
The prices of various versions of Toyota Corolla have been increased by
two to three per cent from Sept 15, 1999, ranging from Rs 20,000-30,000.
According to an official in Indus Motors, the XE and XEG are now
available at Rs 709,000 and Rs 749,000 compared to Rs 689,000 and Rs 729,000 respectively.
Corolla GL, GLI and GLI auto are now tagged at Rs 859,000, Rs 969,000
and Rs 1,050,000 as against Rs 829,000, Rs 939,000 and Rs 1,020,000 respectively.
In diesel categories, the 2.0D, 2.0DG and Limited are now priced Rs
859,000, 899,000 and Rs 969,000 compared to Rs 829,000, Rs 869,000 and Rs 939,000