Purchase of 300 wagons
The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) on Saturday
approved procurement of 300 high capacity railway wagons for transportation of oil,
keeping in view the anticipated increased demand in the coming years.
The ECC which met under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Shaukat
Aziz also estimated to have $8.6bn exports for the current financial year against the
original target of $9bn. However, the meeting noted that exports have registered an
increase of 11.7% against $7.7bn target of '98'99.
Also the ECC noted that exports for the year had gone up by almost 10%
during the period July-April 2000. Exports in April showed a record increase of 18% over
the same month last year.
In order to facilitate exporters, ECC decided that the Karachi Port and
airport facilities as well as Port Qasim Authority would provide 18 hours a day coverage
to exporters from May 15 to June 30.
On the fiscal side, ECC was informed that so far CBR has collected
Rs277bn which was 17.7% higher than last year. It was informed that there was an increase,
both in the collection of direct and indirect taxes. The only tax whose growth was low was
Central Excise duty was due to a shift in taxes from Central Excise Duty to the Sales Tax
The meeting also decided to withdraw the Minimum Export Price for
tomato in order to encourage growers to produce tomatoes for exports. This decision now
opens up the export market for all farm products.
Carpet exports up 31pc
In the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, hand-knotted carpet
exports from Pakistan have registered an increase of 31 per cent.
According to the Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters
Association (PCMEA), the carpet exports stood at $194.5 million during July-April in the
fiscal 1999-2000 as compared to $148.2 million in the corresponding period in 1998-99.
The unit prices rose to $52.01 per sqm during the current financial
year as against $51.3 per sqm.
'Deals struck with Iran, Turkey'
Several deals for exporting leather, textile yarn, fabric and animal
casings have been struck with Iranian and Turkish businessmen, President, Karachi Chamber
of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Amjad Rafi said.
The KCCI chief, however, did not reveal the quantity and value of the
"Actually we went there to conduct a market survey for our local
products," he told a press conference after return from the visit of these two
countries. And the visit revealed that there exists a lot of potential for exporting rice,
mango, yarn, fabrics and surgical instruments, he added.
Explaining low trade with Iran, he attributed it to the growing menace
of smuggling, causing damage to legal trade. Amjad said that the share of Pakistani rice
in Iran stands at only 3.3 per cent out of its total import from the global market.
Cotton prices rise further
Cotton prices on Thursday tended further higher by Rs50.00 per maund
after ginners tightened their hold on the market as reports of falling stocks did not
allow spinners to stay away.
Floor brokers said ginners appear to be now in a commanding positions
and are raising their asking prices at will and spinners have no option but to follow
their price line.
'Increase forex through fish exports'
Provincial minister for food, livestock and fisheries, Iftikhar Soomro
has emphasised fisheries department, Karachi Fish Harbor Authority (KARMA) and National
Institute of Oceanography (NIO) to contribute to increasing foreign exchange by adopting
modern methods in the production and export of fish.
Expressing his views during his visit to NIO on Thursday, Iftikhar
Soomro advised the commercial fishing trawlers to avoid catch of little underdeveloped
fish so that later fishermen could catch them and take full benefit.
Govt to curb trading
Minister for Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood on Wednesday said the
government cannot allow a few to make millions of rupees through trading in textile quotas
when millions remain jobless in the country.
The minister while speaking as a chief guest at an award and
certificate giving ceremony of Pakistan Readymade Garments Technical Training Institute
was responding to a point raised by PRGMEA chairman with regard to recent changes made in
the textile quota policy.
He said that these sudden changes have been made while keeping in mind
certain ground realities and emerging changes being foreseen in year 2004, when MFA will
come to an end when there shall be no more quotas for textiles.
Only 2pc of mango output exported
Station manager Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Mr G.M. Rana said that in order
to boost export of mango an upgraded Multan airport was an urgent priority. He was
dismayed that currently only two per cent of the mango output of the country was being