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Apr 24 - 30, 2000

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

IMF 'pleased' with new reform package: official

A senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that the Fund officials were "pleased" with the new economic reforms package submitted by Pakistan.

The official who wished not to be named, told that prospects of an agreement on Pakistan's loan package looked "good" adding however, that a lot more was needed to be done before a final agreement was signed.

The official said that Pakistan government's revelation that former government had given misleading figures to the Fund in the past "in fact helped" Pakistan's case combined with the commitment that in future no mis-reporting of figures would take place. "We want full transparency in the talks," the official said.

Besides, the IMF official said that meetings of Pakistani financial team with the US treasury department officials would be very helpful when the Fund makes the final discussion for the resumption of loan package to Pakistan.

Last Friday Pakistani delegation met the Acting Managing Director of IMF and the President of the World Bank James Wolfenshon and held detailed talks with them.

An IMF mission would now visit Pakistan next month to continue talks with the government, and a final decision by the IMF board is expected by June or early July.

Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz kept up a hectic schedule in New York and met Wall Street investors, investment bankers, officials at Moody's and Standard and Poor ratings agencies and apprised them of Pakistan's new economic revival plan.

He also met the Chairman of Citigroup, Sandy Weil, and Vice Chairman, Robert Rubin separately to talk about Pakistan's progressive economic reform package.

Vehicle regularization

The Customs department has announced that it collected Rs 1.394 billion in duties and taxes under the scheme of regularising vehicles plying without payment of duties and taxes throughout Pakistan.

The closing date of the scheme was March 15, 2000 and it was launched on February 16, 2000. A total of 6679 vehicles were regularized under the scheme, the largest number ledgered by the Quetta collectorate which collected Rs 470.78 million by regularizing 2720 vehicles.

Policy to convert oil-based power units to gas shortly (Policy

The government is likely to announce a policy on the proposed conversion of oil-based power units to the natural gas shortly aiming to limit government role to the policy framing only.

The government is also to legally forbid the use of high BTU gas for power generation and provide alternative options for such power units who are not using the specified gas for this purpose.

The draft of the government policy on the gas conversion is being given final touches by the government experts working with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.

Compaq to open office

Compaq, branded computer producer, will soon open its office in Pakistan in order to create nonstop e-business environments and to augment the role of Internet in daily lives.

This was stated by Andy Chan, Managing Director, Compaq Computer South Asia in a Compaq Parade Seminar "Everything to the Internet", organized by Compaq Computer Asia Limited, at a local hotel on Tuesday.

Mari Gas seeks $15m from govt

The Mari Gas Company Limited (MGCL) has sought $15 million (Rs 750 million) over the period of three years from government to replenish its depleting gas reserves by executing exploration projects outside the Mari gas field.

Official sources said here on Monday that Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) will take up the issue in its next meeting following proposal submitted by ministry of petroleum and natural resources.

Sources said, MGCL has proposed that "it may be allowed Rs 250m (equivalent to $5m) each year (total Rs 750m) net of taxes for exploration outside Mari gas field for a period of three years".

Proposal for import of Iranian bulldozers

A proposal to import 1000 bulldozers from Iran as part of the official programme for development of 9.9m hectares culturable waste land, has been submitted to the Economic Coordination Committee for approval.

Official sources in the commerce ministry told that commerce minister Abdul Razaak Dawood during his visit to Teheran last month took up the issue with the concerned authorities there.

ECC has been informed that an accord was signed in Dec. '94 with Iran for import of bulldozers worth D.M. 250m against export of engineering goods. The cabinet approved the deal on 31st July, '95 but it could not materialise.

Pakistan, Egypt agree to boost ties

The Chief Executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, and the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, held one-to-one meeting at the presidency here on Saturday and agreed that the two countries should increase cooperation to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

Welcoming the CE, Mr Mubarak said that the two sides maintained close and brotherly relationship rooted in common faith.

Earlier, in a statement issued before the meeting, the CE said that Pakistan and Egypt should enhance their mutual cooperation and realize its full potential particularly in the economic field, to face the coming challenges.

The CE said that the ties between the two countries were rooted in shared faith, values and characterized by commonality of interests.

"Given the important role the two countries play in their respective regional settings, increased cooperation between them will augment their ability to respond the coming challenges faced by them," he said.

World Bank terms gas imports from Iran, Qatar 'economical' (Policy

The World Bank has rated the gas pipelines from Iran and Qatar as the most economical gas import options for Pakistan.

Among various pipeline schemes, the overland supply from Iran and Qatar has the lowest unit cost, offers lesser political risks, greater security of supply and the possibility of acquiring Turkmenistan gas through swap arrangements with Iran, official sources told.

However, they said, these projects had been still far from start and would take a gestation time of a decade or so. For carrying about 2000 million cubic feet of gas per day, the investment required for these projects was estimated at $ 4-5 billion, whereas an additional $ 3 billion would be needed to augment the national transmission system, they said.