Rs400m ADB aid to schools suspended
The ADB has suspended its Rs400 million assistance to an education
project under which 140 primary schools of Balochistan would have been upgraded to middle
level, following reports of misappropriation of funds by officials.
The aim of the project was to make 7,700 students of those girls
schools continue education at middle level. By upgrading their schools, the ADB planned to
reduce girls dropout rate at middle level in Balochistan where female literacy rate is
lowest in the country.
Sources in the federal education ministry said the assistance had been
suspended for a few months and the provincial government had been asked to remove
"bottlenecks" immediately so that the suspended amount could be released.
SBP says data on defaulters incomplete
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has said that the data submitted by
banks against defaulters was not in accordance with its requirements.
"Data submitted is not in accordance with the prescribed format.
Information is not placed in correct column and key data like NIC number, address,
father's name etc is missing," observed State Bank in its letter to heads of all
chief executives of banks and development finance institutions (DFIs).
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has assigned a mutual fund
rating of AA(f) (double A) to the Unit Trust of Pakistan (UTP).
The rating, a PACRA announcef ment said, denotes the ability of the
fund to consistently outperform, its peers with strong capacity to respond to future
opportunities or stress situations.
PACRA has recently developeds the rating methodology for mutual funds
with the objective of providing an independent opinion on thes financial strength of a
All govt contracts remain unaffected
The government announced on Wednesday that all its financial
commitments and obligations to the foreign governments, banks, financial institutions and
other entities remained unaffected by the judgment of the Shariat appellate bench of the
Supreme Court on Riba.
The government made it clear that recovery proceedings currently in
hand either in courts or by the creditors would remain unaffected.
In its first official reaction to the SC judgment passed on Dec. 23,
the government said all banking transactions, contracts, agreements, commitments,
obligations, investments in and by banks and returns thereupon were completely protected.
"All laws currently applicable to financial contracts, agreements
transactions, etc. will continue to remain in force as before until new laws are framed by
the competent authority to replace the old laws for which a timeframe has been given by
the judgment itself, which is June 2001."
The government further said: "The commitments of the federal
government to individuals, organizations, banks or other entities, in terms of their
investments and returns, are fully protected and will continue to remain so in future
until these are modified appropriately in the light of the recommendations of the
commission for transformation."
It added that financial relations of the government with the State Bank
and those of and between provincial governments and local authorities would be carried out
on the same lines as at present. Appropriate changes in these arrangements would be
recommended by the commission for transformation.
The standards currently applicable to individuals, firms corporations,
organizations and other bodies for accessing the money and capital markets would remain in
force until these standards were amended by the law.
Amendment to NAB ordinance on the cards
The government has decided to amend the National Accountability Bureau
Ordinance, making it obligatory for the public office holders to explain that statutory
regulatory orders (SROs) or directives issued by them are in the larger interest of the
Prosecutor General Accountability (PGA) Farouqe Adam Khan told that by
amending the ordinance more "teeth" would be provided to the NAB to give effect
to the law for which it was promulgated. The amendments to the NAB ordinance 1999 are
likely to be made in the next twenty-four hours.
Foreign debt to be retired thru sale of state units
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz will preside over a high-level meeting on
Tuesday to finalize the government's new strategy for disinvestment of state enterprises.
The ministers for petroleum, industries, commerce and senior officials
would be attending the meeting to approve the new road map for the privatization.
The chairman of the Privatization Commission, Saleem Altaf told
"We are proposing a piece of legislation to make sure that the sale proceeds of the
privatization are used only for debt retirement and not for development purposes".
In an interview here on Monday, he said the military government has
decided to retire 65 per cent of the most expensive short term external debt through
SDR 673m received from IMF
Pakistan has received from the IMF a total of SDR 673.8m out of
Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) and the stand-by arrangements by the end of December
Negotiations to commence in the second week between the Fund experts
and the Islamabad Public Finance managers would be focusing on modalities for release of
SDR 379.11m (ESAF plus EFF) money committed but still withheld by IMF for 'nonfulfilment
of conditionalities' by Pakistan, say sources.
Out of 682m SDR (Special Drawing Right) approved under ESAF on Oct 20,
'97, with the expiry date of Oct 19, 2000, a sum of SDR 265.37m has so far been drawn by
Pakistan. Out of SDR 454.92m, with the same approval and expiration dates, a sum of SDR
113.74m has been drawn so far. The total drawn amount so far from the stand-by arrangement
approved at SDR 562.59m on Dec 13, '95, is SDR 294.69m.