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.
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.