The Planning and Development Division has presented a new
three-year Public Sector Development Plan for reinforcing the existing 9th
Five-Year Plan with stringent conditions for project performance evaluation.
It is learnt from the official sources on Tuesday that a
mid-term review of the 9th Plan had been carried out, resulting in a major
decision that it should be reinforced in accordance with fresh terms and
conditions concluded with the donor countries and agencies.
The 9th Five-Year Plan is to terminate in 2004. The policy on
allocation, implementation, completion and utility-based performance of all
projects to be launched under the plan, have been changed. Performance
evaluation of projects carried out under each of the annual Public Sector
Development Programme (PSDP), forming part of the 9th Five-Year Plan, will be
governed by certain new conditions.
These are meant and to ensure that these projects were
launched to achieve maximum public welfare by allocating development expenditure
and to prevent waste of public money. Under a new benchmark being introduced for
performance evaluation on spending of development funds allocated by the
government, it will be made mandatory on the department concerned (sponsor
agency) to submit a report on benefits made available to the
The implementation of the reinforced 9th Plan will begin after the final
approval by the National Economic Council (NEC) which will examine the final
recommendations for the plan by the ministry of finance. The plan is expected to
be operative from mid-October 2000. The main recommendations in this connection
include a benchmark for each project which stipulates that the
"utility" of each project would have to be reported on project
completion, which would be as important for clearance of the allocation as the
Bumper cotton crop expected
Phutti arrival from fields into ginneries has gained
momentum, thereby raising hope that the country may reap, yet another bumper
cotton crop this season (2000-2001).
"If the current pace of phutti arrival is maintained
during the entire first picking period, which lasts till late November, there is
a strong possibility that cotton production may cross 10 million mark,"
opined a leading broker on Wednesday.
According to Pakistan Cotton Ginners' Association (PCGA)
figures, phutti arrival up to Oct 1, stood at 1.056 million bales or 29.49 per
cent higher than 0.815 million bales produced during the corresponding period of
the last year.
It is encouraging to note that despite water shortage in
Sindh, the increased flow of phutti up to 7.91 per cent in comparison to
previous year, indicates that little damage was caused and the province is
likely to achieve its cotton production target.
The Planning Commission has prepared a three-year agriculture
development plan for 2000-2003 with a projected allocation of Rs3.5 billion,
government sources said.
International donor agencies have committed to provide Rs748
million during the plan period for the development of farm sector in Pakistan on
According to the plan, Rs248.27 million, including a foreign
component of Rs116.80 million will be spent on farm sector during 2000-2001;
Rs1.61 billion including foreign component of Rs264.60 million in 2001-2002; and
Rs1.66 billion, including foreign component of Rs266.52 million in 2000-2003.
According to the official document, the agriculture will
continue to be a dominant sector of the economy and the future agricultural
development strategies will be geared towards attaining high growth rates in
this sector by providing the right policies and institutional support.
Market strategy for onions
Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has directed the
agriculture ministry to hold a meeting with Sindh administration and onion
farmers on Oct 7 to discuss the crop situation and evolve a marketing strategy.
The meeting has been called after governments of Sindh and
Balochistan protested against onion import from India and demanded a ban on its
Federal Agriculture Secretary, who will chair the meeting has
asked provincial governments and farmers to send their representatives.
Textile Development Board
Federal Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood, on Tuesday
said that Pakistan Textile Development Board will be constituted soon to prepare
the textile sector ready for globalization by the year 2001.
Addressing the seminar on Textile, organized by the Export
Promotion Bureau, he said the recommendations, for the formation of the board
will be discussed with the textile traders, exporters and millers next week
after which the draft will be sent to the ministry.
Local exporters and manufacturers have geared up efforts to
obtain ISO-9000-ISO-14000 certificates, raising the number to 1,450 units.
According to a break-up, provided by Total Quality Management
and Experts Cell (TQMEC) of FPCCI, around 1,432 units, majority of them
multinationals and exporters, have got ISO-9002 certificate while 18 units have
secured ISO-14000 certificates.
The official of TQMEC told that textile sector has topped in
securing highest number of ISO-9002 certificate (307 units), followed by
surgical (312 units), leather (126 units), sportsgoods (120 units), engineering
(78 units), apparel and garments (71 units), food and beverage (63 units) and
professional services (24 units).
Deep-sea fishing issue
The Board of Investment (BOI) has asked the agriculture
ministry to resolve the deep-sea fishing issue. The government on Friday
cancelled all the 31 deep-sea fishing licences.
Official circles told on Sunday that the government's
decision would jeopardize the efforts being made for bringing foreign investment
in the country.