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
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
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.
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
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.