Jul 31 - Aug 06, 2000
Refinery operations to begin in Sept: Usman
Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Usman Aminuddin
said on Saturday that mid-country refinery at Mahmoodkot will be commissioned by Sept 30,
This he said while presiding over a high-level meeting at PARCO head
offices here, which reviewed updated progress on PARCO's mid- country refinery and 840
kilometres long $ 550 million white oil pipeline from Karachi to Mahmood
The minister observed that the commissioning of PARCO's long awaited
Mid-Country Refinery and much needed white oil pipeline projects from Karachi to Mahmood
Kot (Muzffargarh) will bring a revolutionary development in oil and gas sector.
Managing Director, PARCO Dr. Shahid H Hak gave a detailed presentation
on the updated progress of 100,000 barrels per day mid-country refinery costing to US
dollar 886 million.
The meeting was informed that necessary arrangement for crude
procurement and affreightment have been finalized and the first oil tanker crude will be
berth at Karachi port next week.
Arrangements for storage and transportation of crude through PARCO's
pipeline to Mid-Country Refinery were already in place. It was further informed that PARCO
has already finalized its refinery's products off-take agreements with Shell, Caltex and
PSO. PARCO has also finalized agreements for sale of 75 per cent liquefied petroleum gas
(LPG) production of its refinery.
The remaining 25 per cent will be marketed as PARCO's 'PEARL' brand
under a Technical Services and Support Agreement (TSSA) with SHV of Holland. PARCO has
also entered the downstream marketing of refinery products by introducing 'Pearl Gas' and
'Pearl Lubes' being imported from OMV of Austria.
Pakistan, Japan agree to evolve farm strategy
Japan and Pakistan have agreed to evolve joint agriculture strategy for
guarding their interests at the WTO's regional conference for Asia Pacific countries
scheduled to be held next month.
This was agreed on Friday during a high-level meeting held between the
officials of the agriculture ministry and three senior officials of ministry of
agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Japan.
The Federal Secretary Agriculture, Dr Zafar Altaf and ministry's
economic consultant Dr Zakir Hussain represented the Pakistani side during the
The overall discussion remained focused on genetically modified
technology, agriculture, forestry, fishery production etc.
Sources said both sides discussed and exchanged views on world food
summit follow-up, sustainable agricultural development and poverty alleviation in the next
millennium and implications and development of biotechnology. "We will also have the
chance to share our experience in agricultural sector's development", sources quoted
the Japanese delegation as saying to their Pakistani counterparts.
Developing a regional
hub at Gwadar
Finally, the present government wins the credit to construct the Gwadar
seaport, which will be the third port in the country. Gwadar is located on the Balochistan
coast about 234 nautical miles West of Karachi and 390 nautical miles east of the Gulf of
The port will serve as a regional hub in view of geo-political changes
in our region. In fact, when it starts operating, it will facilitate traffic to and from
the ports of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Afghanistan and
the land-locked Central Asian states.
Despite immense benefits to Pakistan, the port, fully protected from
southwest monsoon waves, has many natural advantages which can offer tremendous
opportunities to the neighbouring states during the time of emergency.
Particularly, oil-producing and -importing countries will be provided
with huge oil storage space for onward transportation.
The IMF experts would next week conduct an evaluation of the present
government's programme to tap Rs100 billion from the survey for documentation of the
economy, following an appraisal by the Fund consultants that the survey would add to the
kitty no more than Rs25-30 billion.
The IMF experts, scheduled to visit Islamabad sometime next week, are
also aiming at finalizing a monitoring mechanism for development budget allocations which
in the past have been "regularly diverted" for non-development purposes, say
SRO on textile quota amended
The ministry of commerce has announced that textile quota surrendered
by exporters in a year, would not be re-credited to them in the succeeding year.
An MoC spokesman stated on Thursday said that notification No SRO 1(I)/
2000, dated Jan 6, regarding surrendering of quota, has accordingly been amended. This
amendment restores the original provisions of the quota-surrendering policy, which does
not allow the re-crediting of surrendered quota in a year, in the succeeding year.
Inputs cost shies
The high cost of industrial inputs has dampened foreign and local
investors' interest in the privatization process. In a report sent to the foreign donors
on why the privatization process in Pakistan has not taken off even after a decade-long
efforts, the government has stated that the process has been constrained by a number of
factors including a lack of depth in the domestic capital market and a lukewarm
international investor interest in this process.
The not-so-active interest of the international investors in the
privatization process has been attributed by the government to the high country risk,
economic sanctions, lack of depth in domestic capital market and high cost of industrial
inputs, such as electricity, oil and credit.