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Nov 06 - 12, 2000

Pakistan, China agree to implement 40 projects

Under the 15th S&T Cooperation Protocol signed on Wednesday, Pakistan and China agreed to implement 40 projects in the field of biotechnology, agricultural sciences, standards and quality control, fisheries, water resources etc.

The protocol was signed in a meeting of Pakistan-China Joint Ministerial Committee on S&T Co-operation, a press release said.

The Pakistan delegation was led by Secretary Science and Technology Division, Javed Masud. The Chinese side was led by Mr Yuan Shunguang, director general, international relations, ministry of science and technology. Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Lu Shulin was also present on the occasion.

Talking to the delegation, Javed Masud informed the delegation that Minister for Science and Technology Prof Atta-ur-Rahman had suggested that Pakistan and China should establish a joint revolving fund on the pattern of Pak-Kazakhstan co-operation.

Javed requested China to help Pakistan in minimising post harvest problems, preparation of vaccines, production of low energy consuming bulks and renewable energy sector.

A number of big projects, built with the help of China, in Pakistan included Heavy Mechanical Complex, Heavy Electrical Complex, Heavy Rebuild Factory and Chashma Nuclear Power Plant. Javed said due to financial difficulties, some research projects included in the 14th Protocol could not be implemented.

Some 280 projects of economic importance are undergoing a process of peer review at the moment and the S&T Division intends to launch about 30-40 commercially viable projects in the near future.

Shunguang, expressed satisfaction over the pace of implementation of projects between the two countries. He said Pakistan could benefit from anti-desertification and agricultural technology developed by China.

Foreign experts assessing Saindak plan

A number of teams of experts from different countries are currently visiting the Saindak Metals plant in Chagai District making on the spot assessment before offering final bids for leasing this copper and gold project of Balochistan.

The teams of experts from Australia and China were in Quetta and they left for Saindak inspecting the plant, machinery, its worthiness to operate, availability of energy resources, storage of oil and transportation of finished products to the world market.

The Australians are exploring a neighbouring site of gold and copper, with a greater contents of gold than copper comparing the Saindak reserves, at the Koh-i-Dalil, within the 50 mile radius of Saindak plant. The BHP company of Australia, in collaboration with the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation and the Balochistan Development Authority, was exploring the gold and copper site at Koh-i-Dalil.

Ginners lose ground

Cotton prices on Wednesday showed a modest decline as some of the weak ginners sold in a bit haste, apparently fearing further pick up in phutti arrivals from the growers.

Floor brokers said big-lot business in the Punjab fine variety late on Tuesday evening below Rs2,300.00 per maund did not allow the market to re-open on a firm note, as some of the leading ginners did try early.

Leading ginners are still holding on to their long positions in a bid to hold the current price line but weaker among them having a little holding capacity were not in an obliging mood. They sold their stock to clear the outstanding dues of growers, a ginner said.

Software programme

Siemens (Pak) Engineering Co Ltd will introduce a software programme called www.mySAP.com at Indus Motors, Siemens spokesman said on Wednesday.

He said the MD and CEO of Siemens (Pakistan), Suhail Wajahat H. Siddiqui and Indus Motors MD, Farhad Zulficar, signed an agreement in this respect. Siemens spokesman said that SAP is a software which integrates all functions of the organization.

CNG use being promoted, says minister

Petroleum Minister Usman Aminuddin said on Monday that the government was promoting the use of compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in a big way to reduce the heavy import bill and provide the consumers an environment-friendly and cost-effective fuel.

Presiding over a meeting of the Board of Governors of Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP), the minister said that introduction of CNG was a success story in Pakistan where over 80,000 vehicles had been shifted to the CNG.

Exploration license granted

The government of Pakistan on Monday granted a petroleum exploration licence to a joint venture of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL 95%) and Government Holdings (5%) for petroleum exploration in Karsal Block 3272-8 - covering 625.26sq km in district Chakwal, Punjab.

The block has been awarded through competitive bidding. PPL is the operator. The joint venture intends to make a risk investment of about $7.2 million for an exploration programme comprising 60km of 3D seismic acquisition and drilling of one exploration well during the initial 3-year term.

2.5m acres under tea cultivation

The government has decided to bring 2.5 million acres of agriculture land under 'tea cultivation' in the NWFP which would save over $200 million foreign exchange currently being spent on tea imports, said Owais Ahmed Ghani, provincial minister for commerce and industries.

Speaking at the stone-laying ceremony of first-ever tea processing plant in Mansehra district, he said that huge amount is being spent on the import of tea.

The minister said that under the special directive of the chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, micro finance bank will provide loans to the tea-growers at easy installments. Furthermore the Bank has already allocated and disbursed more than 90 millions rupees for tea cultivation on soft terms, he added.