23 - 29, 2000
Plan to achieve 6% GDP growth finalized
The government has finalized a three-year
macroeconomic framework that seeks to achieve 6% GDP growth rate in
2002-03 against a 4.5% GDP growth of 99-00.
A "Three Year Development
Programme-2000-03", prepared by the Planning Commission which is
expected to be approved by the cabinet also plans to reduce the
present fiscal deficit of 6% to 3.5% of GDP by 02-03, based largely on
Investment requirements have been increased from
15% of GDP in the base year to 18% in the terminal year of the
development programme. Keeping in view the privatized structure of the
economy, nearly 2% of this incremental investment will have to come
from the private sector and about 1% from the public sector.
Mobilization of savings for the incremental
investment is an even more daunting task, but one necessary to give
meaning to the objectives of self reliant growth.
In 99-00, national savings were 12.5% in an
investment rate of 15%. But the terminal year of the three years
perspective, the national saving rate will have to increase to 17.5%
of GDP with only 0.5% of foreign savings. "To raise the rate of
saving a wide ranging strategy is being prepared", says the three
years development programme which has just been circulated to the
provinces for comments.
Measures are in place to rationalize the tax
culture to expand the tax base. The process will be reinforced by
fiscal autonomy being envisaged under Local Government Plan 2000. As a
result of the reforms and policy changes, corporate sector is expected
to plough back its savings into new investment. Household savings will
be encouraged by a climate of low inflation and positive real returns.
Monetary expansion will be kept in line with GDP
nominal growth at 11.1% per annum. The current account deficit will be
brought down from 2.5% of the GDP in the base year to 0.5% in 2003.
Bumper cotton crop expected this season
If phutti arrival from fields into ginners means
anything, then it can be easily said that the country was going to
harvest yet another bumper cotton crop this season.
Phutti arrival figures released by Pakistan Cotton
Ginners' Association (PCGA) on Thursday, disclosed that up to Oct 15,
2.260 million bales reached ginneries, thereby, showing higher arrival
by 41.72 per cent compared to corresponding period of last year.
"We may achieve 10 million bales production if
current flow of phutti arrival continues up to middle of December when
the first picking ends," a leading ginners said.
It is highly encouraging to note that despite water
shortage which hit the lower Sindh in particular, the phutti arrival
is higher by 21.17 per cent compared to corresponding period of last
PTCL launches prepaid card service
The Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) is
all set to launch its prepaid card service on Friday. These cards
could be operated from all PTCL digital telephones for making
international and long-distance inter-city calls.
The PTCL has made plans for the distribution of the
cards. They will be available everywhere in Pakistan, including petrol
pumps, leading stores, shopping centres and Pakistan Telecommunication
Company customers service centres.
The cards will be available in four denominations
ie 250 (white), 500 (Blue), 1000 (Silver) and 2000 (Gold). After the
successful launch and introduction of services like CLI, voice
messaging, etc the Pakistan Telecommunication Company now plans to
introduce the prepaid card service for the convenience of the general
Ammonia plant damaged
The reformer ammonia plant of the Pak-American
Fertilizer Factory, Iskandarabad, was damaged in a blast on Tuesday
No loss of life has been reported so far.
Built at a cost of Rs12 billion with the help of a
Japanese company, the plant was opened last year. Some factory
workers, who did not want to be identified, put the blast damage at
Rs3 billion. According to them, the explosion caused panic in the
small town near Daudkhel.
Fertilizer off-take up
Fertilizer off-take has registered 14.4 per cent
increase in Sindh and 7.66 per cent in Punjab during April to August
as compared to corresponding period last year, Pakistan Central Cotton
Committee (PCCC) has disclosed.
In its latest report on cotton crop, PCCC said that
off-take in Sindh was 282.10 thousands nutrient tons as compared to
233.88 thousand tons during the corresponding period last year showing
an increase of 14.4 per cent.
Black-tea processing plant
Black-tea plant, having 1000 kg tea processing
capacity per day, to be set up at National Tea Research Institute (NTRI)
Shinkiari, Mansehra will become operational by April 2001.
"A deal has been finalized with China which
will provide the processing plant in next three months,"
Director, NTRI, Dr. A. Rauf Khan said on Tuesday.
"The tea processing plant will be a pilot
project and is expected to be operational before April, 2001," he
Musharraf, Aga Khan discuss tourism projects
The spiritual leader of the Ismaili community,
Prince Karim Aga Khan, held a meeting with Chief Executive Gen Pervez
Musharraf here on Monday.
The chief executive lauded the tremendous
contribution of the various philanthropic and social development
programmes being undertaken by Prince Karim Aga Khan worldwide,
particularly in Pakistan.
Gen Musharraf thanked the Aga Khan for his
invitation to preside over the convocation of the Aga Khan University
which he would attend in Karachi later in the week, it was officially
During the meeting tourism development in Northern
Areas and various other aspects of socio-economic development also
came under discussion.
Wheat target fixed
The government has fixed a production target of 22
million tons for wheat and 9.7 million cotton bales for next year.