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POLICY

Apr 17 - 23, 2000

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

New cotton policy

Under the new policy for fiscal 2000-2001 announced on Thursday, Trading Corporation of Pakistan will buy only Afzal cotton (phutti) direct from growers at a fixed rate of Rs725 per 40 kgs. The government has decided to introduce cotton grading and standardization system at ginning stage from June 30.

CE wants South to talk with one voice

Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday underlined that the peaceful resolution of thorny disputes in accordance with the wishes of the oppressed people within the South, can enable the developing countries to transfer resources from arms to the development of the poor as well as help them talk to the North with one united voice.

"Once these disputes are resolved according to the wishes of the oppressed there can be a major transfer of resources from arms and armaments to education, health and population welfare," he said in his address on the opening day of the G-77 South Summit.

He said hopes for a bright future saying demand primarily that "we resolve conflicts and disputes which continue to afflict many parts of Asia, Africa and Europe."

"All the disputes within the third world have been source of tension and instability detrimental to millions and deny allocation of resources to the social sector development," he sald.

The Chief Executive urged that unless these thorny disputes within the South are resolved, "we cannot stand united and cannot talk to the North in one voice—and we have to talk in one voice for better terms of trade and transfer of technology to the South."

He said the first-ever South Summit in Havana is taking place against the backdrop of momentous developments in the technological, economic and political arena. "These have created unprecedented opportunities and challenges for peace and progress. It is imperative for us to seize these opportunities and meet these challenges."

Rs 100m ordered for KESC

Sindh government ordered release of Rs100m to the KESC to enable it to make payment for fuel supplies by the PSO.

The KESC is facing liquidity problem because Rs770 million are stuck up with the ministry of finance against GST refund and Rs292 million are stuck up with the Sindh government.

Rs3lbn needed for BMR

The country's textile industry requires an estimated sum of Rs31 billion for balancing, modernization and replacing (BMR) during the next five years to remain competitive, according to All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA).

Of the estimated amount, a sum of Rsl8.811 billion is required for the spinning and Rsl2.141 billion for the weaving units.

The APTMA calculation for the required funds for BMR is based on a survey of its 343member units with an installed capacity of 6,674,846 spindles, 69,800 rotors, 3,297 shuttle looms and 5,556 shuttless looms.

Ministers agree to cut taxes heads

The four provincial finance ministers, who met on Tuesday at the Sindh Secretariat, completed deliberations on the federal government plan to reduce the number of provincial taxes from over 27 to 10 or 11. The committee, which was formed by the federal minister to carry out this exercise with Punjab Finance Minister Shahid Kardar as its chairman, was also entrusted with the task of levying uniform taxes in all the provinces.

Centre stops funds to provinces

For the first time since the Oct 12 military takeover, the federal government has held back the monthly release of funds to all the four provinces on the ground of their failure to pay Wapda bills, it is learnt reliably.

The move has landed the provinces in a serious trouble which has forced them to stop disbursement of salaries to their employees.

In fact, the provincial governments had appreciated the military rulers' move to regularize monthly payments which were disrupted frequently during the PML rule.

Normally, the finance ministry releases the funds to all the provinces on the 1st of every month. However, a source in the ministry said on Tuesday that the funds for the month of April had been held back.

Govt's priority list for privatization redefined

A high level meeting on Tuesday rewrote government's priority list for privatization of state owned entities while putting the energy and power sector organisations on the top, well placed government sources said.

Chaired by Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, the Cabinet Committee on Privatization elaborately deliberated on the disinvestment policy and the state of the units which were on the government's privatization list.

The meeting felt the need for a reshuffle in the priority list of the Privatisation Commission as many of the units failed to show the required performance and could not live upto the expectations as far as their output was concerned. "The government is facing a critical question as to which units should be put on the sale before others," the sources said.

State Bank unlikely to offer creditline

Software exporters should not expect banks to offer liberal credit because the State Bank is in no mood to create a creditline for this purpose. But the silver lining is that state-run banks may allow them slightly increased access to credit if they move fast into world markets weathering all odds at home.

"Creating a credit-line as such seems to be out of question—at least at the moment," a source close to the SBP told. He said the SBP might consider this if software exports rose to a substantial level.

Official statistics on software exports are not available but the industry sources estimate them between $15-20 million per year. The paltry sum present a sharp contrast to software export of India estimated at $3.5 billion last year.