Jun 12 - 18, 2000
Rsl20.5bn PSDP approved
The National Economic Council (NEC) approved on Wednesday Rs 120.5
billion Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2000-2001.
The NEC meeting was presided over by Chief Executive General Pervez
Musharraf. Governors of the four provinces, some federal ministers and provincial
ministers for finances also attended the meeting.
The meeting also decided to devolve administrative and financial powers
on the provinces so that they can take important decisions without getting Centre's
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Secretary General Ministry of
Finance Moeen Afzal said that the NEC approved 19 per cent increase in the PSDP. He agreed
that this was Rs 4.5 billion less than what was approved earlier by the Annual Plan
Coordination Committee (APCC).
He said the meeting discussed the prevailing economic situation in the
country and expressed satisfaction over it.
The growth rate for the current financial year, he said, has been
estimated at 4.5 per cent against the 3.1 per cent of the 1998-1999. He said the GDP
growth rate has improved due to bumper wheat crop. He said over one million tons of wheat
will be exported which will bring in about $150 million.
The inflation rate, he said, has been registered at 3.4 per cent as
against 6.1 per cent of last year.
He said exports registered an increase of about 10 per cent while
imports were estimated to be 11 per cent more.
Mr Moeen Afzal told a reporter that rice crop was also very good and it
was estimated to be 5.15 million metric ton. Similarly he said there will be 11.2 million
of cotton bales as against 8.8 million bales of last year.
35pc increase in cotton output
During current season (1999-2000) the country has produced 9.749
million bales of cotton showing an impressive increase of 34.99 per cent over previous
year's output of 7.222 million bales.
According to final production figures released by Pakistan Cotton
Ginners' Association (PCGA) on Monday, there is a remarkable rise in production of cotton
in both the cotton growing provincesSindh and Punjab.
The favourable climatic conditions with no virus and pest attacks this
season helped the country to harvest a bumper cotton crop which otherwise for the last
four consecutive seasons was suffering because of such factors.
The output in Punjab made a quantum leap to 7.602 million bales showing
an increase of 36.90 per cent over previous year's production of 5.553 million bales. The
province of Sindh also made an impressive rise at 2.147 million bales or 28.66 per cent
higher over the previous year's production of 1.669 million bales.
Spinners keep to sidelines
Trading activity on the cotton market on Wednesday remained relatively
slow as spinners adhered to the sidelines owing to liquidity problems.
Floor brokers said that owing to continued strike by retailers the
sales of cotton yarn have fallen to a lowest ebb creating financial problems for most of
"The unsold stocks in the mills are piling as ready offtake by the
brokerage houses has stopped for the last about 10 days", said a leading spinner
adding, "payments from the wholesalers are also held up because of the strike".
Most of the spinners are facing the problem of liquidity on the one
hand and piling of unsold stock on the other and are awaiting the end of the strike by the
small traders before resuming buying operations and until then the activity may remain
insipid, they added.
Industries curtailing output
A segment of industries has started cutting on production due to piling
up of stocks and suspension of supplies to the markets which have been closed since last
"Around 20-30 per cent of industries have started slowing down
their production due to adverse situation in the wake on-going traders-government row over
the tax survey," chairman, Council of Karachi Industries Association (CKIA), Farooq
Industries are also facing problems in getting raw materials like
chemicals, packing materials, etc from the markets, he added
Ghee mills hit by high tariff
Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association has warned that the ghee
industry has been hit by high tariff rate on raw materials.
Acting PVMA chairman, Dr Salim Malik said here in a press release
Wednesday that three major ghee manufacturing units have already suspended operation
mainly due to duty-free import of commercial oilseeds, frequent increase in duty/taxes
within a year on import of edible oils as well as discriminatory duties on soft oils
He argued that the liquidity position of ghee units has been adversely
affected by increased duty/tax rates and a colossal loss of Rs 20 billion has been
incurred by these units, collectively.
Oil, gas accords signed
Pakistan signed on Saturday two concession agreements for the
exploration of oil and gas in Sindh and Southern Punjab.
The contracts were awarded to OMV (Pakistan), a subsidiary of
CMVAktiengesellschaft (Austria)) and the Government Holdings for undertaking joint oil and
gas exploration activities in Gambat Block No. 2658-4 covering 6518 sq kms in Sukkur,
Khanpur and Nawabshah districts (Sindh) and Yazman Block No. 2871-6 covering 5865 sq kms
in Bahawalpur, Lodhran and Mailsi districts (Punjab). Joint operating accords were also
signed between the parties.
In another agreement, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd and British Bomeo
Exploration Ltd. a subsidiary of Eni Group (Italy), secured transfer of 30% each working
interest from OMV in Gambat Block. The joint ventures are likely to carry out 300 line km
of seismic survey and drilling of two wells during the term of three years with a minimum
expenditure obligation of over $8.7m.