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Jul 17 - 23, 2000

'Textile industry to invest $ lbn'

Around $1 billion is expected to be invested during the year 2000, by textile industry for replacing old machinery with new technology under BMR and also by making new investment meant for expansion of production capacity, disclosed APTMA sources.

"Already an investment of over $500 million has found its way into the industry after leading textile groups early this year undertook extensive programme of balancing, modernization and replacement (BMR) to meet challenges that would arise after phasing out of MFA in the year 2004," sources said.

Thereafter, there shall be no quotas as the protected markets would vanish and only those having an edge over others in terms of quality in a free market would survive, he maintained.

Sources said that around 16 leading textile groups and individual units have intimated to APTMA their plans for additional investment aggregating $250 million.

Besides, many other APTMA members have embarked upon a rapid modernization programme to upgrade their existing production facilities with a total investment of around $100 million, sources maintained.

Some of the leading groups and individual units which are making new investment in BMR and for expansion of production capacity, APTMA sources said, include Gadoon Textile Mills ($10m), Saphire Textile ($10m), Ejaz Spinning ($10m), Nishat Textile ($50m), Suraj Cotton ($10m), Kohinoor Weaving Mills ($20m), Ibrahim Group ($50m), Younis Brothers ($45m), Mehmood Textile ($10m), Nagina Group ($5), Bhanero Group ($5m), Ishaq Textile (10m), Chenab Group ($5m), Master Textile ($10m), Tata Group ($5m) and Al-Karam ($23.5m).

Chief Executive of Al-Karam Textile, Iqbal Ibrahim told that his industry has already upgraded its spinning and processing units by investing $3m and $8m, respectively. For weaving sector, he said a totally new setup is being made for which import order for machinery costing $12.5m has been placed.

11 oil wells to be drilled this year

At least 11 exploratory wells will be drilled and 2500 kilometre survey will be carried out to bring revolutionary pace of activity in oil and gas sector during the current fiscal year.

This was noted at a high level meeting chaired by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Usman Aminuddin on Tuesday. It was called to review the performance of OGDCL and update its long and short term goals for boosting oil and gas activity in the country.

The minister directed that pace of oil and gas developmental activities should be accelerated to the greater extent and the performance monitoring system be devised.

The government attaches top priority to the speedy indigenous development of oil and gas sector and the application of hitech is must to achieve high yields in the era of competition, Usman stressed.

Pakistan is enriched with oil and gas resources, which need fast exploitation to attain self reliance in this vital field of economy as soon as possible, he said.

Pak-Arab refinery to open in Sept

Pak-Arab Refinery Company Limited (PARCO), in which Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and the Austrian firm OMV jointly hold a 40 per cent stake, will commission its 886 million US dollars refinery at Mahmoodkot in Punjab province in September this year.

According to company's sources, the refinery, the biggest in Pakistan, will produce an average of 100,000 barrels per day. Its processing capacity is 4.5 million tons per year.

The refinery will account for 30 to 40 per cent of the country's refining capacity. It is a major project and will go a long way to meet Pakistan's requirements.

Light crude oil will be imported from Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia for the refinery, but the details of the exact amount to be imported is still being finalised.

Sixty per cent of PARCO is owned by the Pakistan government and 40 per cent by IPIC and OMV.

Sunflower output in Sindh

Sindh has achieved a record production of more than 57,763 metric tonnes of sunflower during 1999-2000 over 53,387 hectares.

This was stated at a high level meeting, presided over by Sindh Secretary Agriculture and Food, Dr Abdul Ghaffar Soomro on Wednesday on the eve of oil-seed cultivation in the province.

He urged the agriculture experts and officers to motivate growers in upper Sindh for maximum cultivation of sunflower during the current season to increase the oil seed production.

Ghaffar Soomro said the growers of Mirpurkhas were getting Rs 500 to Rs 550 per 40 kilograms (support price) against their input cost of less than Rs 335 per maund.

CPI surges 3.58pc

The rate of inflation (CPI) surged by 3.58 per cent during the year 1999-2000 over the previous year and not by 3.44 per cent as the finance minister stated in his budget speech.

This is revealed in the "Monthly Review of Price Indices" released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) on Tuesday.

According to other experts, the figure "3.44" per cent related to the period July-April (1999-2000) and did not take into account the fact that the government raised the energy prices twice in 1999-2000. Even for the 10-month period, the rate of inflation reported by the FBS is way down the real situation.

When this point was raised with the officials of FBS, they said that the present system of weightage of various groups of consumer goods was 20-year old. Therefore, it did not capture the full range of goods effected by upward revision in energy prices. At present, the weight of the group "Fuel & Lighting" is 6.13.

Marr Fabrics for sale

Saudi Pak Industrial and Agricultural Investment Company Limited has invited offers by August 9, 2000 for sale of machinery, equipment and mortgaged land and Building of Marr Fabrics Limited, a composite textile knitting, dying, printing and stitching unit through sealed tenders to make a recovery of Rs. 78.059 million.