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Nov 08, 1999

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Six more taken on federal cabinet

The military government added six more members to its cabinet on Thursday raising its strength to eight.

The six additions to the cabinet are: Ms Zubeda Jalal, Lt-Gen (retd) Moinuddin Haider, Omar Asghar Khan, Abdur Razzak Daud, Dr Abdul Malik Kansi and Dr Shafqat Jamote. Names of Abdus Sattar and Shaukat Aziz were announced on Monday last. All the designated cabinet members are expected to take oath of their offices here on Friday.

According to an official announcement, Zubedia Jalal has been given the portfolio of education; Lt-Gen Moinuddin Haider, interior and narcotics control; Omar Asghar Khan, local bodies and rural development; Abdul Razzaq Daud, commerce and production; Abdul Malik Kansi, labour and manpower; and Dr Shafqat Jamote, food and agriculture.

Earlier, Abdus Sattar was allocated the portfolio of foreign affairs and Shaukat Aziz, the finance.

Ms Zubeda Jalal, daughter of Haji Jalal, belongs to Balochistan and has long been associated with the profession of education. She has a rich experience in the field of education and social work. She holds Master's degree in English Literature.

Moinuddin Haider belongs to Sindh. He has served as governor of Sindh during the previous government.

Omar Asghar Khan, son of Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan, belongs to NWFP. He is running his non governmental organization called Sangi Foundation in Islamabad. He holds a Master's degree in Economics.

Dr Abdul Malik Kansi belongs to Balochistan. Retired from Bolan Medical College in 1988.

Abdul Razzaq Daud, belongs to Sindh but at present resides in Lahore. He is a well-known and respected industrialist and educationist.

Dr Shafqat Jamote belongs to Sindh. He holds a Ph.D degree, from the United States. He has remained minister for education in Sindh government.

Wheat support price raised to Rs285 per 40kg

As a first step to bring the agricultural input/output prices at par with the international prices, the Government has announced to increase wheat support price from existing Rs 265 for 40 kg to Rs 285 for the same weight for the year '99-2000.

Announcement to the effect was made by federal secretary for food, agriculture and livestock Dr Zafar Altaf on Wednesday in a hurriedly called press conference.

It may be recalled here that Nawaz government had announced to increase the support price from Rs 240 per 40 kg to Rs 265 on Sept 22, '99.

Dr Altaf said, the commercial banks, Agricultural Development Bank (ADBP) in particular which had suspended loaning operations, have also been directed to give loan for rabi seasons immediately to growers from Thursday.

Govt decides to set up task force on GST

The Government has decided to create speedy fiscal/tax-appeal benches, club different tax heads for removing multiplicity in the tax/ duty structure, and to create a task force for implementing GST across the board.

These decisions were taken at a marathon meeting Wednesday chaired by Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, at the Central Board of Revenue, attended by chairman CBR and tax-head members.

Rs2bn grant for Sindh

The federal government released Rs 2 billion grant for Sindh government on Oct 30 allowing the province to enjoy the overdraft facility from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Official sources said here Monday that Sindh Government's overdraft is within the positive limit and stands at Rsl267 million currently.

The Sindh government's overdraft limit is Rsl700 million.

PPL sell-off delay

The government's indecisiveness over the Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. (PPL) sell off is obstructing the much needed about 100 million dollars IFC loan to upgrade its key operational projects.

$2.2 bn power sector projects in pipeline, says Zulfiqar

The Wapda chief on Saturday indicated that several projects worth over 2.2 billion dollars are in the pipeline in the power sector.

Lt. General Zulfiqar Ali Khan, who holds dual chairmanship of state-run Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC), said that these projects are besides the underconstruction Chashma and other hydel power projects. He did not specify the projects.

He was inaugurating 26 MVA/132 kv transformer of a new grid station at Elander Road under the KESC system. The new installation will facilitate about 250,000 consumers.

Talking to newsmen after the ceremony, he talked about other hot issues the government is confronted with.

Prices of polyester fibre raised

The polyester fibre manufacturers, without any prior notice or indication, enhanced the prices of their products by Rs 3 per kg and the prevailing price of Rs 56 shot up to Rs 59 a kg including sales tax.

Spinners claim that in the international market the price of polyester fibre is still 88 cents per kg (Rs 45.67). According to the exporters, even if the duty draw back factor is taken into account, the price of polyester fibre should have been Rs 54 per kg plus sales tax.

Spinners have expressed their concern over the increase in the prices of polyester fibre and said that due to monopoly in the polyester fibre industry, this sector has been dictating terms and whenever it likes it thrusts higher prices on the spinners who are additionally shackled by the heavy duty on the import of polyester fibre.

Textile design films exempted from duty, ST

The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has exempted import of transparencies/negative films used in textile printing and packing from custom duty and sales tax under SRO 818(1)/89 dated 09-08-1989 provided these are temporarily imported for use in textile designs, printing and packing of goods meant for export.

A circular issued by the Revenue Division of CBR says that Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association (PBEA) had raised the issue of exemption under SRO 818 on the import of transparencies/ negatives films used in textile printing and packaging for exports.