First 3000-HP railway engine
rolls out of factory
The first locally-assembled 3000-horse power diesel railway engine
rolled out of the Railway Locomotive Factory here on Thursday.
The Secretary, Pakistan Railways, Javed Ashraf, inaugurated the
rolling-out of the engine by cutting a ribbon.
The general managers of Pakistan Railways, Hamid Hassan and Iqbal Samad
Khan; the first secretary of Japanese Embassy in Islamabad, Takahashi Hiroaki;
representatives of Marubini of Japan, General Electric Company of the United States and
Adtranz of Germany were also present.
Earlier, Fahimuddin, managing director of the locomotive factory,
addressing the gathering, termed the event a milestone in the life of the factory. He said
the engine had been assembled at a cost of Rs160 million.
He said the factory had already achieved 30 per cent deletion and
planned to attain indigenous manufacturing capability of 70 per cent spare parts.
The 3000-HP engine was the first out of the 20 the factory has to
assemble or partially manufacture till March 2001, Mr Fahimuddin said and added 10 engines
had been imported in the partially knock-down condition while the other 10 were in the
completely knockdown condition.
Because of an acute shortage of locomotives, he said, the railways had
imported 10 other 3000-HP engines from the United States as part of the same project,
involving a cost of Rs3.25 billion.
The factory had earlier manufactured 23 2000-HP engines and the last
such engine had rolled out of the factory in September 1997, he added.
'Govt cautious on privatization'
Indebted Pakistan has no plans to sell its assets hurriedly and will
aim to get the maximum benefit from any sale, a government official said on Thursday.
"The entire (privatization) process should continue at its own
pace ... If you try to speed it up on your own, then there is a cost to it, there is no
free lunch," said Altaf Saleem, chairman of the Privatization Commission.
Pakistan has privatized very little over the past two years because of
a change of government and what officials said were unfavourable market conditions.
"Because we are dealing with national assets, it has to be
realistic, it has to be cautious," Saleem said.
Since assuming power on Oct 12, Gen Pervez Musharraf has made
privatization a key priority of his government but has promised that the process would be
transparent and in the security interests of the country.
Cotton output strategy finalized
Punjab agriculture department has finalized its cotton production plan
for the year 2000 with an emphasis on higher per acre yield.
In its "strategy and schedule of work-2000" for the cotton
crop, directorate general agriculture (extension and agriculture research), Punjab, set a
target of cotton cultivation on an area of 5.68m acres throughout the province and the
production from this acreage is estimated at 9 million bales with average yield of 22
maunds per acre.
Although, the area under cotton cultivation has remained more or less
the same compared to the department's last year's target of 5.65m acres, but this year
expected crop size is placed almost 2m bales higher than that of last year, which was,
7.114m bales. Last year, average yield was predicted as 17.21 maunds per acre.
Four cane varieties introduced
Four new sugarcane varieties have been introduced by agriculture
department for the current sowing season which will conclude on March 15.
Deputy director agriculture department Mian Shafiq Muhammad informed
the new varieties SPSG-26,CP43-33, CP72-2086 and CP-77400 would replace the old Indian
Calico Cotton to wind up
Calico Cotton Mills Limited, the textile spinning company, that has
probably paid only one dividend in nearly twenty-two years since listing at the stock
exchanges, now proposes to go into Creditors' Voluntary Winding up.
The company has called an Annual General Meeting and Creditors' Meeting
on March 30, at its registered office located at Kotri, for the purpose.
Govt may allow a 50 MMCFD gas to Liberty Power
Government is likely to allow supply of 50 MMCFD gas to the M/S Liberty
Power Limited (LPL) for the commissioning and commercial operation of its 270 MW gas
turbine power plant (phase-i) at the Dharki (Sindh) from March 20.
Official sources in the finance ministry told that the decision to the
effect is likely today ( Wednesday) after the meeting of the Economic Coordination
Committee which will be chaired by the finance minister Shaukat Aziz to discuss this issue
of gas supply to the LPL.
The summary to the effect has already been submitted to the ECC by the
ministry of petroleum and natural resources.
Move to revive textile mills
Two proposals are awaiting approval of Iran and Pakistan governments
for revival, privatization and reactivation of Pak-Iran textile mills at Baleli near
Quetta and at Uthal, Lasbela district, authentic sources said here on Tuesday.
One proposal is that Bolan Textile Mills near Quetta may be handed over
to Iranian side free from all liabilities by the government of Pakistan.
The Iranian side will own, operate and manage this mill from its own
resources, while Pakistan will own Pak-Iran Textile Mills, Uthal.
The second proposal is that Iranian side would rehabilitate and repair
the two textile mills based at Baleli near Quetta and at Uthal in lieu of the balance
equity contribution (12 million dollars).
Of 14 million dollars, which Iran has to contribute to acquire 49 per
cent shares of Iran-Pakistan Textile Mills of the total shares, Pakistan would retain 51pc
of these shares.
With the agreement and approval of either of the two proposals, these
mills could again be made productive.