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Pakistan's IT achievement seems nothing less than a paradox individual software houses have put the country on the global IT map despite a virtual absence of such pre-requisites as electronic documentation of the economy, digital banking, acutely small base of credit card, low PC and internet penetration. The development of e-commerce is the next logical step. PAGE highlights the pluses amidst many minuses.


The growers are demanding a price of Rs60 per 40 kg against the official price of Rs36 fixed by the government. The mills are however not willing to pay the asking price. The controversy may result in suspension of the crushing recently started by the mills. If the mills meet the asking price of the growers, the sugar price may increase by 65 per cent i.e. Rs7 per kg taking from current price of Rs30 to Rs35-37 per kg in the holy month of Ramzan. Sugar production is estimated around 2.8 to 3 million tonnes this year.

Pakistan's total external debt outstanding on June 30, 2000 is estimated at $32.7 billion or 53.8 per cent of GDP. If other foreign exchange liabilities such as foreign currency accounts are added, the total external liabilities rise to $37.3 billion or 61.3 per cent GDP, says SBP annual report for 1999-2000. This is perhaps for the first time that exact figures regarding external liabilities have been released by the Central Bank. Credit goes to Governor Ishrat Husain.

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