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COVER STORY

WHEAT
Can we ever grow enough?

The 1997 food riots sent a clear message — the shortage of wheat, the primary staple food of Pakistanis, will not be tolerated. It also posed a vital question; Can a country which fails to grow enough wheat to feed its people truly call itself ‘agricultural?’

 

EXPORTS

There are positive signs that $9.2 billion export target set by the government for the current fiscal year are within reach due to accelerated efforts by the new economic managers. Exports during first 6 months are estimated at $4.1 billion. The textile sector which is the mainstay of our exports retains its leading position by contributing over 65 per cent of the total exports during the period in review.

INTEREST RATES

There are concerted efforts to reduce the interest rates. The aim is to boost investment in the country particularly by the private sector. However, it may take some time to achieve the objective. It has to be complemented with creation of conducive environment for investment.

PROVINCIAL PROJECT

A review of provincial portfolios indicate varied performance of projects in the four provinces. While Punjab is performing better than the rest of the provinces, and implementations improving in Sindh and NWFP, performance of projects in Balochistan has deteriorated significantly during the last one year. Yousuf Rafiq reports from Islamabad.


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