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Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz has included the privatization of the public sector enterprises in his 7-point agenda for revival of the economy. He has confined the privatization programme for retirement of public debt. On the contrary, privatization is being used to attract foreign investment all around the world. Over 50 per cent of foreign investment is attracted through privatization in the countries carrying this programme. Pakistan can use this programme in diversified manners: For debt retirement, to attract foreign investment and to depoliticise the public sector.


The recent loan recovery campaign can yield tangible results. While the recovered amount is expected to range from 30 to 50 billion rupees, the higher target can be achieved if the financial institutions are serious and do not become selective only.


The declining prices of cotton should be a source of concern but does the country has surplus cotton? It appears to be only the pressure tactics of growers and spinners. The bumper cotton crop should provide impetus to GDP growth and exports.


Local industry is completely dependent on imported tallow and palm by-products, the two interchangeable basic raw material for soap manufacture. Soap manufacturers say that they are unable to pass the benefit of declining prices of palm by-products in the international market due to a discriminatory high tariff which encourages import of comparatively higher priced tallow primarily due to low rate of duty.

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