Sep 11 -
offers no-war pact to India
Pakistan on Wednesday firmly proposed a no-war pact
and a mutual reduction in forces with India as General Pervez
Musharraf told the UN Millennium Summit his country was prepared to
take "bold initiatives to change the status quo".
In his maiden speech to 152 heads of state and
government, the chief executive said he was prepared for a dialogue
with India "at any level, at any time and anywhere. Let me commit
at this world forum that we desire a no-war pact; we are ready for a
mutual reduction of forces and we also seek a South Asia free from all
nuclear weapons," Gen Musharraf said.
His five-minute speech covered the Kashmir dispute
in detail but he also assured the international community that his
regime was "sincerely committed to rebuilding and strengthening
the institutions of state to give the country a genuine and durable
"Pakistan remains conscious of international
concern for democracy," he said. "Our founding father
Quaid-i-Azam envisioned Pakistan as a modern Islamic state, committed
to democracy based on equality, freedom and social justice. The people
of Pakistan have never lost faith in democracy, but autocracy in the
garb of democracy led to dishonest governance and the collapse of
He said Kashmir and Palestine were two prime
examples of festering disputes where the UN charter had been defied.
"Whereas the international community is seriously engaged in
finding a solution to Palestine, Kashmir cries for justice even after
52 years," he pointed out.
He said South Asia was deprived of economic
progress because Kashmiri people remained deprived of justice.
"The consequence of this injustice has been four wars, the region
stands heavily militarized and nuclearized."
Package announced for EPZ investors
Under a new package of facilities to the EPZ
investors, the Export Processing Zones have been allowed by the
government to import finished goods duty and tax-free for onward
export to regional states.
Restrictions of removing duty and tax free
machinery and vehicles imported by them have been removed, and the EPZ
manufacturers have been accorded the status of bonded warehouses.
The facility of importing finished goods for onward
export without payment of duty and taxes is available to no other
category of investors in Pakistan. The EPZ investors would, however,
pay duties and taxes on such goods if they sell them into the local
Increase in power tariff allowed
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority
has allowed the Water and Power Development Authority to increase the
electricity rate by 13 paisa per unit, a Nepra statement said on
The tariff increase had been allowed as an interim
arrangement till the completion of hearing on WAPDA's petition,
seeking a 31 paisa increase, it said. WAPDA has also sought permission
from Nepra for automatic adjustment of power rates due to variations
in international oil prices and rupee-dollar exchange rate under 'fuel
price indexation factor' formula.
IMF team dicusses
The visiting IMF review mission again on Wednesday
met officials of the ministries of finance and petroleum and discussed
issues pertaining to state corporations, banks and further
deregulation of petroleum sector.
Dealers allowed to stock sugar
The government and sugar dealers on Monday agreed
that any sugar dealer or stockist having less than 3000 bags of sugar
in the stock will not be charged with hoarding, it is reliably learnt.
The understanding was reached at a meeting of a
14-member delegation of Pakistan Sugar Dealers Association with
commerce minister Razzak Dawood.
Four items under 15pc sales tax net
The federal government has announced levy of sales
tax at the rate of 15 per cent on cigarette, ice-cream, fruit juices,
aerated water and beverages manufacturers.
The facility of paying 2% sales tax by the
producers of these items has been withdrawn through a Presidential
Ordinance issued here on Tuesday. This facility, so far, was available
to those producers whose annual turnover was above Rs500,000 but not
more than Rs2.5 million.
KESC allowed to raise tariff
The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet
has, in principle, allowed the KESC to increase its tariff by 25 per
cent during the next three years to enable it to qualify for a $225
million loan for its financial restructuring.
The ECC meeting on Monday considered the KESC's
summary for increasing the power tariff by 8.33pc per annum for the
next three years to qualify for the $225 million ADB loan and agreed
In order to qualify for the first tranche of $150
million, the KESC will have to increase the tariff by 8.33pc before
Saudi Fertilizer's sell-off
The Privatization Commission (PC) has finalized a
number of deals for sell off and plans to complete the process before
the year ends. Disinvestment of Saudi Fertilizer Company and gas meter
manufacturing unit are to be completed in September and October,
MNCs cool to SBP warning
They are makers of popular soft drinks that are
getting even more popular in Pakistan — thanks to the TV ads
featuring cricket super stars. But production of soft drinks is not in
What is in question is that they have purchased
$30-$35 million from the open market thereby pushing the dollar up to
new peaks in the past few months.
And they are not the only one. Other multinationals
— and some local corporates as well — have made heavy buying of
the dollar from the open market during this period. The total buying
of this sort stands between $100-$150 million.
The federal government has announced an Enlistment
Tax for the country's retail sector at the rate of one per cent here
This was announced through a Presidential Ordinance
issued, on Tuesday. The retailers will be pay one per cent tax on
their sales and 16.5% on their purchases under it. The facility is
available until June 30, 2001.