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Sep 11 - 17, 2000

Cotton arrival falls by 16.73pc

More than 188,761 bales of cotton have arrived at ginning factories till Sept 1, showing a decline of 16.73 per cent or 37,932 bales over same period last year.

According to the fortnightly report of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) on Wednesday, the decline was mainly from Sindh where cotton crop faced water shortage.

A leading ginner said the arrival of cotton is late due to slow picking by growers. He said in lower Sindh, crop was affected due to water shortage and added that arrival will get momentum from upper part of the province.

The arrival of cotton at ginning factories in Sindh has shown a decrease of 25,993 bales mainly in lower Sindh areas of Tharparkar, Sanghar and Hyderabad.

In Punjab, the arrival was short by 11,939 bales during the same period under review.

The total arrival of cotton in Sindh was estimated at 133,792 bales against last year's 159,785 bales.

In Punjab, the total arrival stood at 54,696 bales till September 1, 2000 against 66,908 bales during previous year. The total arrival at ginneries all over Pakistan was 226,693 bales on September 1, 1999.

Meanwhile, the Export Promotion Bureau has issued procedure for registration of export contract for raw cotton by private sector.

According to the new procedure, the exporter shall be entitled under this registration procedure to register the export contracts of cotton on the basis of type or grade. However, in cases where the export sale is type-based, the exporter would mention the equivalent Grades on the Registration Certificate, issued by EPB, and all other export documents at the stage of shipment so that the foreign buyers become familiar with our Grades. This registration procedure shall apply to registration of export contracts of raw cotton of private sector with EPB for both new crop and the fresh contracts of old.

Dispute over cane crushing date

The Sindh government has asked sugar millers to start crushing from October 1, but millers say that they should be allowed to commence crushing from November 15.

Members of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA), informed the Sindh Industries Minister Dewan Muhammad Yousuf Farooqui in a meeting on Friday that they intend to start crushing from November 15 as there would be no more shortage of sugar till November, due to its imports by the government and the private sector.

However, growers and officials of Agriculture Department insisted the millers to start crushing from October 1 as harvesting of wheat crop will also start by that time.

Negative growth in large scale manufacturing sector

Large scale manufacturing in Pakistan fell by one per cent in fiscal (July/June) 1999-2000 as sugar production went down to 2.43 million tonnes from 3.54 million tonnes in 1998 -99. But if sugar is excluded from the basket of key industrial items large manufacturing sector can boast of 6.4 per cent growth in fiscal 1999-00.

Sources in ministry of production and industries say sugar has a weight of more than eight per cent in the basket of 96 items in the said basket.

That explains why large scale manufacturing recorded negative growth in 1999-00 despite a bumper cotton crop that raised cotton yarn production to 1.67 million tonnes from 1.54 million tonnes in 1998-99.

The sources say production figures of 25 out of total 96 items in the basket of large scale manufacturing show a mixed trend of growth and decline.

They say that production of seventeen items went up and that of eight went down.

Shipbreakers urge

Pakistan Shipbreakers Association has urge the government to bring import tariffs on old ships at par with the neighbouring countries to revitalize and end the prevailing recession in the industry. Highlighting the problems faced by shipbreakers at the Gadani beach, a press release claims that the duty structure in India and Bangladesh is between five to 10%, while the local shipbreakers have to pay 40% inclusive of the income tax on the import of old ships for breaking.

Tax holiday package for IT

The federal government has prepared a seven year tax holiday package for the information technology sector. Under the package, the IT companies would be allowed to enlist on the stock exchanges.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan would change rules to facilitate enlistment of such companies, sources said on Thursday.

The Central Board of Revenue has already agreed to provide a seven year income tax holiday to the venture capital fund in order to boost the investment in the information technology sector.

Industries seek protection

Different local industries, failing to compete with the cheap finished goods or secondaries urged the National Tariff Commission (NTC) to enforce anti-dumping laws to check the flooding of local markets with cheap finished goods or secondaries to give a breathing space to local industry facing serious threat of closures.

According to NTC sources, different industries have approached it for imposition of higher duties on the import of such items which are being manufactured in the country so that the local industry could retain its market share in the domestic market.

Gas sale accord signed

An agreement for the sale of gas was signed between the Sui Southern Gas Co (SSGCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) On Friday.

The accord was executed by the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, SSGCL and the Working Interest Owners of Block-22 (PPL), Petroleum Exploration Ltd (PEL), Pyramid Energy Inc. Canada and the Government Holdings .

Under the accord, the Owners of Block 22 will supply 20MMSCFD gas to SSGCL. Block 22 is located in districts of Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Sukkur (Sindh) and district Nasirabad (Balochistan).