. .

1_popup_home.gif (1391 bytes) news.gif (6529 bytes)


Oct 18, 1999

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

10-35pc cash margins imposed on imports

The State Bank on Thursday imposed 10-35 per cent cash margin on imports and stopped banks from remitting foreign exchange abroad against surrender of foreign currency in Pakistan.

Senior bankers said the twin measures were taken to keep the rupee stable and foreign exchange reserves intact. Pakistan had $1.468 billion worth of forex reserves on Oct 9,1999, according to the latest SBP report.

A State Bank circular (BPRD no. 33) said cash margin of 10 per cent was imposed on imports of industrial raw material and 20 per cent on imports of all kinds of machinery and their spare parts. It said 35 per cent cash margin was imposed on the import of all other goods. The circular said the following categories of import items would be exempt from cash margin:

(i) crude petroleum (ii) petroleum products (iii) edible oils of all sorts (iv) pharmaceuticals and raw material thereof (v) pesticides etc./insecticides/ fertilizers (vi) seeds and plants (vii) items imported against various schemes of temporary import for exports (viii) imports by federal and provincial governments and their attached departments under specific cash allocation (ix) imports under commodity loans/credits/aid whether in public or private sectors (x) import against suppliers credit/loan registered with the State Bank/Economic affairs division and (xi) wheat.

Another circular (F.E. no. 24) said the State Bank had decided to withdraw "till further orders the facility of back-to-back remittance and release of foreign currency against surrender of an equivalent amount of foreign currency."

Foreign exchange business suspended

The State Bank on Thursday instructed private money changers to keep their businesses closed up to 20th to stop people from panic-buying of US dollars that could weaken the rupee.

"It has been decided that offices of authorised money changers shall remain closed for public dealing up to Wednesday—Oct 20—, " said a SBP circular. "Authorised money changers are accordingly directed to keep their business places closed for business and not to conduct any foreign exchange transaction up to the 20th October 1999," the circular added.

Raise prices

Cement Manufacturers Association has approached the Ministry of Industries and Production for an increase of Rs. 8 to 10 per 50 kg bag. They stated that the government has increased the Sales Tax by 2.5 percent and prices of furnace oil, gas and electricity charges have gone up. The cost of production has also increased due to these factors.

They stated that increase in the prices are indispensable at this time because they are facing financial loss, the sources added.

ADBP disburses Rs7.526bn

The Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP) disbursed Rs. 7.526 billion in the first quarter of current financial year compared to Rs. 6.230 billion disbursed during the same period last year, showing an increase of 21 percent.

Production loans, disbursed for fertilizers, pesticides, seeds etc., constitutes 65.5 percent of disbursed amount whereas the rest i.e. 34.5 percent were disbursed as developmental loans.

Saudi Pak okays Rs 1,280m financing

Saudi Pak industrial and Agricultural Investment approved Rs 1,280 million in terms of long-term and short-term financing in the first nine months of the current calendar year, depicting 100 percent surge against the financing of Rs 601 million in the same period last year.

The Saudi Pak, a joint venture of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is playing an important role in promoting brotherly relations between the people of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

While the disbursements during the first nine months of the calendar year 1999 stand at Rs 449 million as compared to Rs 454 million disbursements during the same period last year sources at Saudi Pak Industrial and Agricultural Investment said in an interview on Monday.

Development tax payable up to Dec 31

The Development Tax Advisory Committee decided that total tax liability from July 1 to December 31, 1999 will be payable up to December 31 with a grace period of fifteen days.

The committee meeting which also decided that those who wish to pay the tax in advance can also do so. The total of 0.75% development tax will be paid under a new head namely Development Tax with the State Bank of Pakistan

Probe starts into $200 m remitted on May 27, 1998

Investigation has been started against those who remitted over 200 million US dollars on May 27, 1998, just before the nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan.

Sources in banking circle said that the commercial banks worked for the whole day to gather information regarding this "illegal" transactions.

The government had seized foreign currency accounts of resident as well as non-resident Pakistanis on May 28, 1999, the day when Pakistan tested nuke.

TCP receives Rs2 billion from NBP

The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) received on Monday the much awaited first instalment of two billion rupees from the National Bank of Pakistan for purchase of cotton.

"We have received the letter from the finance ministry for the release of Rs2 billion", informed Javed Ashraf Chairman of the TCP. He said the loan amount has been received on Monday and TCP is going ahead with its cotton procurement programme.

Enquiries made with the NBP revealed that senior executives are in a meeting in the board of directors' room and none was available till late in the evening. The junior executives in the bank however, confirmed that the TCP loan is on the agenda of the meeting.

NBP is reported to be offering this loan under the commodity operations programme but no rate of return has been mentioned as yet.