. .


Mar 13 - 26, 2000

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

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 variety C1148.

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.