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COVER STORY
PEPCO
The new power culture

The newly established Pakistan Electric Power Company Limited (PEPCO) has been awarded the mandate to restructure WAPDA for its privatization. PAGE reviews the progress made so far. Twelve corporatized entities have been established to undertake activities previously performed by the Power Wing of WAPDA. Most of the entities have submitted audited annual accounts for the period ending June 30, 1999.


MOBILE PHONES
The government is losing millions in lost revenue due to massive smuggling of cellular phone sets and accessories. The easy availability of the products is also resulting in an overall decrease in mobile phone connectivity with number of subscribers stagnating at 300,000 during last decade. Replacing the GST with a fixed tax can help lessen the impact of the black market.


PRIVATE PRODUCTIONS
A local viewership already saturated by the state-owned Pakistan Television, fierce competition for airtime on the two functional PTV channels, and the perceived profitability have turned private production companies to compromise for quality. However, the private production companies are optimist that the opening of private satellite channels next year would not only improve the quality of programmes but also the betterment of all those associated with them.


$ 55 MILLION REPAYMENT
While there are strong indications that IMF Board may approve a new 3 years package of about $ 2.5 billion for poverty reduction and growth programme, it is also likely that Pakistan may be asked to repay about $ 55 million as penalty for discrepancy in budget numbers.


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