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Nov 15, 1999

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

US okays $125m credit for Pakistan to buy wheat

The US has approved a $125 million credit for Pakistan to purchase about one million tons of wheat from the commercial market, business sources disclosed here on Friday.

"The GSM credit of $125 million was approved out of a total of $250 million set aside for Pakistan and will be available immediately," they said.

Market sources said Pakistan would soon be going out to open tenders to purchase 250,000 tons of wheat under the newly-available credit. At current prices Pakistan could purchase upto one million tons of white wheat.

The GSM credits are not under any sanctions as President Clinton had issued waivers for credit sale of agricultural commodities to Pakistan basically to help American wheat producers as Pakistan is one of their major buyers.

The Agriculture Department also announced on Friday a $10 million PL-480 food gift for Pakistan as part of a $165 million allocation for 18 other countries.

US Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman announced allocations of $165 million for the fiscal year starting October 1 making subsidized US agricultural exports available to these 18 countries.

Glickman said 12 countries were eligible to receive commodities valued at $120 million through the Food for Peace programme, or PL-480, which authorizes exports of US agricultural commodities at concessional rates to foster broad-based sustainable development in the recipient countries.

Pakistan will get over 26,000 tons of wheat, 9,000 tons of vegetable oil and 18,000 tons of soyabean under the programme.

The announcement said PL-480 Food for Peace programme was a concessional sales programme to promote exports of the US agricultural commodities and to foster broad-based sustainable development in the recipient countries.

Iran offers wheat flour at competitive prices

Iran has offered Pakistan sufficient quantity of fine quality wheat flour not only for the country's consumption, but also for re-export to Afghanistan at the competitive prices.

Atta offer has been made by Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zahidan (Iran) to the Balochistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Quetta for sale to the consumers through private sector. It may be noted that the government of Pakistan is seriously contemplating to induct private sector in wheat import trade.

That Iran had made this offer was disclosed to newsmen here on Friday by the Balochistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Sardar Mohammad Ali Jogezai after his meeting here with the vice president Zahidan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Mohammad Ali Neshati. Mr Neshati is currently on visit to Pakistan to explore more avenues for Pak-Iran officially-approved import-export through Balochistan overland route.

SBP paying interest on forex bonds, SC told

The Supreme Court was informed on Friday that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was paying interest on the foreign currency bonds (Euro Bonds) as those were issued under sovereign guarantees of Pakistan.

Abid Hussain Minto, the counsel for the SBP informed a five judge bench, hearing a review petition of the foreign account holder, Syed Munirul Huda Chaudhry, said he had already filed the statements as required by the Supreme Court explaining the utilization of the foreign currency deposits by all the successive governments between 1992 to date.

Dr Hafiz Pasha inaugurates Marcon '99

Former Federal Minister Dr Hafiz Pasha said that export marketing should be the top most priority of the government for the speedy revival of the economy and self reliance in the next millennium.

He was speaking at the three-day international marketing conference Marcon '99, organised by Marketing Association of Pakistan (MAP) at a local hotel.

He said it was an irony that country has been facing stagnation or decline in exports during the past several years and added that exports during 1998-99 were lower than of 1994-95.

He said without evolving effective marketing strategies there was no possibility of immediate economic revival, a very difficult task facing the government.

Dawood to focus on export strategy

Minister for Commerce, Industry and Production, Abdul Razak Dawood on Saturday called for developing strategy and prioritizing areas to increase country's exports.

Views to this affect were expressed by the Minister during an initial briefing on various issues in the trade sector.

In a 2-hour briefing, which he held early in the day, the Minister said without strategy and prioritizing areas there cannot be an increase in the coustry's exports.

Acting SBP Governor

Deputy Governor Mukhtar Nabi Qureshi has been appointed as the Acting Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan with effect from Nov 6 after Dr Muhammad Yaqub resigned to join the National Security Council. The ministry of finance has issued a notification about his appointment.

An SBP press release said Qureshi is the senior most among the three deputy governors of the State Bank.

Qureshi joined SBP in November 1963 and served in different capacities before becoming its chief manager in Multan in 1985.

Riaz Hussain appointed CBR chairman

The government has transferred CBR Chairman Mian Iqbal Farid and appointed Riaz Hussain Naqvi as chairman on contract basis for two years.

Iqbal Farid has been asked to report to the Establishment Division till further postings.

Riaz Hussain has spent most of his service period in the Central Board of Revenue. He was chairman, Settlement Commission, when he got retirement after attaining the age of 60 years. Naqvi is known as a competent and honest officer.