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Aug 14 - 20, 2000

Govt to spend Rs20bn on new gas project

The government is working on a phased plan to bring discovered natural gas into distribution system at a cost of Rs 20 billion.

Giving details of the government plans, Federal Minister for Petroleum Usman Aminuddin said that by December 2000, the newly discovered gas would start coming into the system, and by July 2003 additional 928 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) of gas will be available.

He said the government had already signed sales agreements with the companies for the development of seven fields.

The disovered gas fields would start coming into the existing system. Hasan field in Sindh, a small field in size, would start injecting 12 MMC of gas per day. Zamzama, a discovery of BHP, will start pumping 60 MMC gas in the distribution system from July 2001.

Similarly Miano field will start its production from July 2001. Sawan, another gas field in Sindh, will start its production from December 2002. Bhit, a major gas discovery in the recent years, will be operational from December 2002.

In the second phase, the minister said, aditional well at Sawan will start production of 90 MMC in year 2003. Similarly, Zamzama will start production in the corresponding period, July 2003. Marri deep field will start its production from July 2003 and Sui deep will also start production from July 2003.

The minister said foreign investment which has been committed for the development of these fields is US $112 million. SNGPL will invest Rs 330 million on laying the new infrastructure and SSGPL will make an investment of Rs 332 million in this regard.

The minister said that high prospective areas like Kirthar Block and Sanghar will be opened up for the exploration activities very soon.

Textile sector on govt priority 

Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Tuesday the government is giving top priority to the revival of the national economy and the textile sector is the single most important area of its attention.

He made these observations while chairing the 2nd meeting of the Export Promotion Board in Islamabad.

Gen Pervez Musharraf said the government is committed to ensuring an investor-friendly and stable environment coupled with the continuity of policies to pave the way for boosting textile growth and exports.

He welcomed the interaction among the government functionaries and representatives of private sector, adding that it was through integrated planning and execution that the country's export targets could be adequately met.

He assured the participants of the meeting of continued support and incentives from the government.

 Usman assures of additional gas supply 

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman Aminuddin said Thursday that an additional 928mmcf per day of gas supply will be available by July 2003.

With the completion of this project, maximum quantity of discovered gas will be put on the main gas supply system, he told the newsmen at a press briefing.

He said, the process comprises two phases including 448mmcf per day of gas supply in the first phase, to be completed by December 2002, while the second phase with 480mmcf of per day gas supply will be achieved by July 2003.

He said, 216mmcf of gas per day from Bhit gas field will be put on system by December 2000, while 12mmcf per day of gas supply from Hasan gas field in Sindh will be put on the system by April 2001.

Rs4.93bn projects approved

The Central Development Working Party on Monday approved seven projects worth Rs4.93 billion pertaining to agriculture, education and water sector.

The approval came at a meeting presided over by planning commission chairman Dr Shahid Amjad. In all, the meeting had considered nine projects worth Rs5.5 billion.

The establishment of agriculture college at Dera Ghazi Khan as a constituent college of the university of agriculture was approved at a cost Rs99.695 million.

Business, industrial zone

Thailand is keen on setting up a business centre in Karachi Export Processing Zones (KEPZ) for marketing its products to Central Asian Republics.

Before giving final shape to the plan, a four-member fact finding mission which is presently on a visit to Pakistan, made extensive tour of KEPZ on Monday.

Installation of 'treatment plants'

Government would extend all possible assistance for installation of 'Treatment Plants' so that industrial sector could work in a hazard-free environmental atmosphere, said Azharuddin Khan, coordinator, environmental technology programme for industries.

Speaking at 'self monitoring workshop', held under the auspices of FPCCI and FCCI on Monday, he said for this purpose 'credit facilities' would also be provided by the government.

Under ISO-14000 and ISO-9000, it was imperative for the exporters to export products manufactured under pollution-free atmosphere, he added.

Production slumps

Country's auto sector showed a mixed performance in 1999-2000, marked by fall in production of cars, trucks, two-wheelers, light commercial vehicles (LCVs) as against rise in rolling out of buses and tractors.

According to Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), car production (800-1,600cc), comprising Toyota Corolla, Honda (Civic), Suzuki (Baleno, Khyber now Cultus and Mehran) and Daihatsu Cuore, Nissan Sunny, plunged to 30,972 units from 38,619 units in 1998-99.

Auto sources said the overall fall was mainly occurred due to lower production of Mehran 800cc which shares around 15,000 units. In 1999-2000, it dropped to only 8,548 units.