Nov 13 -
Japan, China to help Pakistan develop IT
Japan and China will provide assistance to Pakistan
for training in information technology and setting up hi-tech
projects, science and technology minister Dr Atta-ur-Rehman said on
The minister said he had signed several memorandum
of understandings during his visit to China and Japan.
Rehman, who travelled with Pakistani software
businessmen, said talks in Japan and China focused on the promotion of
The Japanese Ministry of International Trade and
Industry (MITI) would also provide training for 100 engineers, he
Pakistan would hire 50 IT teachers from Japan.
Hitachi Corporation also agreed on a plan to
establish an IT company in Pakistan and Komatsu of Japan would expand
its base in Pakistan and train software engineers, he added.
Dr Rehman described his China visit as very useful
and said 43 projects were concluded with the Chinese government which
would be implemented in the current year for promoting engineering,
agriculture, pharmaceutical, chemicals and ocean resources.
"The Chinese government would be helping us in
setting optic fibre rings around the cities of Karachi, Lahore and
Islamabad for high-speed internet access."
Dr Rehman said details were being worked out with
China for making low-priced and high-quality computer equipment in
Great Wall Corporation plans to manufacture and
export 70 per cent of its products under the IBM trade mark and
Pakistan would be used as a platform for exports to the Middle East.
The government has launched an ambitious plan to
develop the country's IT infrastructure. The plan unveiled in August
envisages an expenditure of five billion rupees over the next few
years including training of 100,000 people a year.
Internet access will be available in 4,000 cities,
towns and villages by the year 2002, officials said.
Optimism expressed over improvement in ties with
Leading foreign policy experts and intellectuals
from Germany, Russia, Turkmenistan, China and Pakistan, have expressed
their optimism that relations between Pakistan and Russia had bright
chances of improving, provided serious confidence building measures
were taken by both the states.
These views were aired at the conclusion of a
two-day seminar on "Confidence Building Measures between
Pakistan, Russia and Central Asia" organised by the Area Study
Centre for Russia and Central Asia of the University of Peshawar, on
Dr Andreas Aieck from the German-Orient Institute
at Hamburg said, "the biggest fear that Russia and neighbouring
countries feel from the emergence of the Taliban government in
Afghanistan was the extension of Islamic radicalism which has taken
the shape of terrorism in the whole region".
IDB to disburse $150m soon
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to
expedite disbursement of $150 million to Pakistan under the trade
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz met the Vice
President (Operations) of the IDB, Ousmane Seck, on Wednesday to hold
discussion in this regard. Secretary Economic Affairs, Naveed Ahsan,
later told APP that during the meeting Pakistan asked the IDB to speed
up the disbursement of fund amounting to $150 million, being extended
under the trade financing schemes.
Oil extracting units exempted from ST
The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has exempted the
cotton-seed oil extracting units from getting registered and filing
sales tax invoices.
Through a notification No 823(I)/2000, issued on
Wednesday, the CBR announced that the cotton-seed oil extracting
units, which were previously bound to make their supplies through
tax-invoice, and had to get registered for paying tax and issuing
tax-invoices, are no longer required to do this exercise.
FPCCI signs agreement
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and
Industry (FPCCI) and Board of Trade of Thailand (BOT) have inked an
agreement on November 7 at Bangkok for setting up of Pak- Thailand
Joint Economic Cooperation Committee.
The agreement was signed by president FPCCI, Fazal
ur Rahman Dittu and Vichiem Teapalbul, chairman BOT on behalf of their
organizations, FPCCI press release said.
Islamabad pushes for oil, gas from Central Asia
The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, voiced
strong support on Tuesday for developing new oil and gas pipeline
projects with resource-rich Central Asia.
"We would like to be part of the arrangements
for gas from Turkmenistan and eventually oil from Kazakhstan,"
said Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, who accompanied Gen Musharraf.
His comments came after Gen Musharraf revealed he
had made a brief stopover in Turkmenistan, during which he discussed
bilateral relations with Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov.
Mr Sattar said talks had again focused on the
multi-billion dollar, 1,600-km gas pipeline proposal from Turkmenistan
through Afghanistan to Pakistan.
Bari Rice Mills
Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan
has allowed M/s Bari Rice Mills Ltd to buy back minority shareholders'
shares at the rate of Rs16 each as a compensation for non-receipt of
any return on their investment, according to an official source.
KESC allowed to increase tariff
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra)
upheld on Saturday the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation's request
for 13 paisa a unit increase in power rate.
The interim relief has been allowed till the
decision on the power company's petition for an increase of 31 per
cent or Rs1.33 a unit in the electricity tariff in three phases from
Nov 1, 2000 to July 1, 2002, a Nepra statement said.