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.
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.
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.