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Dec 27, 1999

  1. International
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  3. Industry
  4. Policy
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  6. Gulf

Rice output

Sindh has produced a record 3 million tonnes of rice this year, creating a surplus of 1.5 million tonnes for export purposes. This information was provided during a meeting of rice exporters association with Provincial Minister for Food and Agriculture, Iftikhar Soomro held here Thursday. The meeting reviewed the bumper production of rice in the province and problems facing the growers.

Gas for captive power projects

The government has allocated gas for distribution to individual industrial units for their power generation. The allocation will be made through private sector, sources said.

The decision to this effect was taken by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Usman Aminuddin during his recent visit to Karachi.

Official sources disclosed that initially 10mmcf of gas from Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) source has been approved which could cater the power generating need of around 100 industrial units in Sindh.

After allowing individual industrial units to run their own power generators about five years back, the government has to discontinue with the programme on strong resistance from utility agencies like WAPDA and KESC.

As a result of this many industrial units who had applied for their own power generation and wanted to open L/Cs for import of generators were discouraged by successive increase in power rates which made their input cost higher than those industrial units having their own generating facility.

According to estimates on having in-house generating facility the power cost for an industrial unit comes down by at least 50 per cent of the cost compared to power is consumed from a utility agency. This has been one of the major factors which have rendered Pakistani manufactured goods uncompetitive in the world market.

The working group of KCCI on power generation with its convener Sami Khan met the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Usman Anunuddin in Islamabad on November 26 and in the very same meeting the minister in principle agreed to allow 10mmc gas for onward distribution by the KCCI and not by any government agency.

During his Dec 14 visit to Karachi the minister for petroleum officially sanctioned the 10mmcf gas from SSGC source to be distributed and allocated by KCCI to individual industrial units in Sindh.

UMC allowed offshore drilling

Balochistan coastal belt has potential for about six billion barrels of oil and 90 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources.

Well-informed sources disclosed here on Tuesday that an Australian oil and gas company, UMC, had been allowed by the government to work for oil and gas exploration along the provincial coast mainly for offshore drilling.

Other foreign firms mostly from the United States of America are already actively engaged in oil and gas exploration in the interior of Balochistan.

Gas resources for Zarghoon north near Quetta are also being tapped. Genderan gasfield is still under development near Loralai. Prospecting for oil and gas at Panjgur and Kharan areas is under process, permission for which has already been granted by the government.

Apart from oil and gas potential, these sources added, latest geological survey had shown that the province has around 1.3 billion metric tons of copper and associated minerals in Chagai district, big iron ore reserves in Dilband area near Mastung.

110 factories suspend ginning operations

All 110 cotton-ginning factories in the area remained closed and the process of buying phutti also remained suspended. The reasons for this are stated to be TCP's unhelpful role as a result of which ginners are not in a position to sell their lint as the agency prefers only Afzal quality and the ginners have a huge stockpiles of Adnas and Alaka.

Meanwhile, cotton spinners of Bahawalpur district have decided to join the protest campaign from Dec 19, initiated by the ginners of Rahim Yar Khan.

According to ginners, TCP assured the district ginners to purchase 130,000 cotton bales, but it backed out after buying only 30,000 bales and the compensation for the same is also being denied.

3 foreign firms to start oil, gas exploration

Three oil and gas companied of world fame— Murphy of United States, IPR Transoil Corporation with producing assets in the United States and Egypt, and Novus Petroleum Ltd. of Australia— with the intention to invest $41.5 million for oil and gas exploration in Kharan, Chagai, Turbat. Musakhel, Barkhan, Loralai and Kohln areas of Balochistan have come forward following induction of Gen. Musharraf's government in Pakistan.

Official sources said here on Saturday that Murphy Oil Company would carryout petroleum exploration over in area of 28146 sq km in Kharan, Chagai and Turbat areas. It would drill three exploration wells to exploit oil and gas reserves involving risk investment of about $37 million.

Ghandhara to raise paid-up capital by Rs50m

Ghandhara Nissan Limited seeks to raise the paid-up capital by Rs50 million without issue of right shares, a resolution to approve the issue of shares only to sponsors/directors/promoters, would be moved at the company's annual general meeting to be held on December 31.

The company proposes to increase the paid up capital to Rsl50.0 million from Rs100.0 million by the issue of 5 million ordinary shares of Rs10 each at par without issue of right shares to all the existing shareholders in proportion to their existing shareholders.

Wheat quota

The federal government is considering decentralization of distribution system of wheat quota among the flour mills at district level after putting a ban on the establishment of new units in the country.

Official sources told that decision to the effect is expected in the light of regular wheat shortage/ flour crises in the country every year.

Sources said, in this connection, the federal government has started to collect required data about all the mills set up in the country at district level so that a comprehensive policy could be formulated to manage regular flour crises in the country.