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Aug 28 - Sep 03, 2000

Musharraf stresses economic revival

The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, on Wednesday urged the businessmen, particularly those in the textile business, to come forward and invest so that the country, which he thought was at the cross-roads, could move forward breaking off the shackles of debt.

The chief executive, who was speaking at the annual dinner of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, noted that the country was facing a 'do or die situation' and, therefore, all the stakeholders in the country should work unitedly to achieve the dream of joining the comity of nations with "our heads held high."

He said the time for discussion and preparing strategies was over and "now it is the time for implementation."

Gen Musharraf appreciated the fact that the textile industry in the last several months had invested about $500 million in BMR, "but that is not enough, we need more investment in order to revive the economy."

"Survival of Pakistan lies in its economic revival and for economic revival we need to revive the industry, specially the textile sector," he added.

He said his government was making allout efforts to develop investors' confidence and usher in a business-friendly atmosphere.

"I have hosted a number of small lunches and dinners to discuss the matter with the Pakistan businessmen and find out what can be done to revive the confidence of the investors."

Deletion plan to be operative from Sept: ISDP 2000

The industry specific deletion plan (ISDP) 2000 will become operative from September 2000. Certain amendments have been inserted into the ISDP 1998-99, which envisage prevention of all kinds of deviations by the local industry from the formula for induction of technology indigenization. On the other hand, it offers more protection to the downstream units which have been suffering due to these deviations.

According to informed sources, the new indigenization plan lays stress on prohibiting all kinds of violations of the category "A" deletion-based conditionalities, which specify that no import of the items produced locally by the vending units and notified as such, would be allowed at concessional duty and tax rate in future. These items have been placed on the list attached to Customs General Order No 7, 1998, which has been updated after notifying a range of new items as deleted from the concessional list.

IDB lauds efforts to revive economy

The President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Dr Ahmed Mohammad Ali called on Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad on Thursday.

During the meeting, the Chief Executive informed the IDB chief about the measures being taken by the government for reviving the economy.

He thanked the IDB for its support and assistance to Pakistan, which includes latest agreements worth US $130 million. The Chief Executive lauded the role of the Islamic Development Bank for improving the state of the Muslim Ummah.

Tea cultivation

The government has approved a sum of Rs100 million for the development of tea on commercial ground in the Northern areas of the country. Official sources said on Tuesday the government had also asked the Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP) and Micro Credit Bank (MCB) to provide interest free credit facilities to tea farmers of these areas.

Gas pipeline project

Special task force will pursue $ 5 billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project which is expected to post around $ 700 million revenue per annum to Pakistan. Under this project, 2670 kilometres pipeline is required to be laid for the supply of gas from Iran to India of 56 inches diameter which would ensure flow of 3.3 billion cubic feet. Pakistan, sources continued will reap transit fee of the pipeline line project worth $ 500 million annually while another amount of $ 200 million will be mopped per annum by getting cheaper gas from this project.

Package for tractor industry

An interim tax relief package has been agreed with the tractor industry under which the withheld import consignments of parts and components have been released by the Central Board of Revenue.

An undertaking has been obtained from the management of the industry for such consignments' release which provide for payment of duties and taxes on all the items being released, would be payable if the revision of the deletion plan is not allowed to the industry in the process of next meeting of the relevant authorities in this connection.

64 sick units revived so far

The committee for the revival of sick units has so far revived 64 industrial units and restructured an amount of more than Rs15 billion involved in these units.

Chairman of the committee Tariq Hameed said on Thursday that the committee has so far taken up 120 cases.

He pointed out that Rs4.5 billion was the defaulted amount in Rs15 billion stuck-up in these units. "The entire amount has been restructured and it is now performing loan", he added.

Exploration for oil

The government has directed the ministry of petroleum and natural resources to conduct oil and gas exploration in some tribal areas of Balochistan.

It has been decided that specific area and districts in which gas or oil deposits are found would be provided substantial financial and development grants for the benefit of the local residents.