27 - Dec 03, 2000
Report on sugarcane crop crisis sought
The government has sought comments from the
agriculture and industries ministries on a report that sugarcane crop
will be short by 15 per cent next year and the country will be
required to keep on importing the sugar till year 2002 to meet its
Both ministries have been asked to find out fact
and figures and submit a report on sugar and sugarcane crises to the
Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) so that a strategy could be
Earlier, it was disclosed that the sugarcane crop
will also be short next year (2001-2002).
Meanwhile, the agriculture ministry officials told
that during 1999-2000, out of 46 million tons of sugarcane, 29 million
was crushed by the sugar industry while the remaining 17 million tons
was diverted for seed and Gur making.
The total sugar production from 29 million tons of
sugarcane stood at 2.42 million tons against the domestic requirement
of 2.93 million tons. The country was thus deficit by 0.50 million
They said there was no shortage now and the
artificial shortage was being created by hoarders.
Explaining, they said, 569,112 tons of sugar was
imported between May to October, thus total availability of local and
imported sugar was 2.99 million tons against the requirement of 2.93
Agriculture ministry said, target for sugarcane was
fixed at one million hectacres, whereas it has been sown on 926,000
hectacres, a shortfall of seven per cent in crop area.
The ministry said, anticipated sugarcane production
for the year 2000-01 crop is 42 million tons. It assumed that 25% or
10 million tons of cane may go for seed and Gur making. The rest 32
million tons of cane will be available for crushing, thus the
estimated sugar production would be around 2.72 million tons against
the requirement of 2.93 million tons.
Performance of petroleum sector discussed
World Bank has asked the Pakistani government to
accelerate deregulating process of petroleum sector and limit the role
of petroleum ministry to a regulator.
Official sources told that the World Bank Vice
President Ms Mieko Nishimizu held a detailed meeting with the Minister
for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman Aminuddin on Thursday and
discussed the performance of petroleum sector with special reference
to deregulating it as early as possible.
She was told that the petroleum ministry was being
reduced to a police giving body which will have nothing to do with
running the affairs of various petroleum organizations of the oil and
Sources said Ms Mieko Nishimizu was told that there
were less chances for increasing the oil prices in Pakistan, though
the issue would be reviewed next month. She was told that a policy has
been devised under which oil prices were reviewed after every three
months while furnace oil rates were reviewed every month.
IDB cancels 7 projects in Pakistan
Vice President of Islamic Development Bank (IDB)
Ousmane Seck has said his bank was disappointed that financial support
for seven major projects in the private sector of Pakistan were
cancelled due to lack of performance.
He pointed out that the private sector was the
engine of growth in Pakistan's economy and urged that well-designed
bankable projects for financial support be submitted to the IDB
through Pakistan's ministry of finance and economic affairs.
A high-powered delegation of the Islamic
Development Bank including Vice President Ousmane Seck and Director of
Operations and Projects Abdul Aziz Jalloh and their senior staff
members held a largely attended meeting of senior Pakistani bankers,
leading private sector representatives of businesses, presidents and
senior executives of chambers of commerce and industry of Rawalpindi,
Lahore and NWFP.
MoU for 16 projects signed
Pakistan and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on
Thursday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development
financing of 16 projects in various sectors over the next three years.
Along with five technical assistance schemes, these 16 projects were
identified for the IBD financing through a medium three years
financing programme (2000-03) during a meeting between Finance
Minister Shaukat Aziz and visiting IDB delegation led by its Vice
President Ousmane Seck.
MoU signed with Italy
Italian government has signed a MoU with Small and
Medium Enterprise Development Authority for the establishment of an
enterprise development centre in Pakistan.
"The project involving an Italian assistance
ranging between $ 10 million to 20 million is aimed at the provision
of loans to the small enterprises," Chief Executive Officer
(CEO), SMEDA, Iqbal Mustafa said.
$15m worth MoU signed
Alhamrani Group of Saudi Arabia, FUCHS Petrolub
Germany and Nasser Brothers have signed a $15m memorandum of
understanding (MoU) for setting up a plant in Karachi for production
Federal Finance Minister, Shaukat Aziz, who was the
chief guest, presided over the signing ceremony. Under the agreement,
FUCHS, Alhamrani Group and Nasser Brothers will jointly invest about
$15 million in the first phase of the project.
Pakistan rich in oil, gas reserves: expert
Pakistan is situated in a zone which has abundant
oil and gas reserves, said Dr Wasim Piracha, Geophysical Consultant.
Talking to a group of journalists on Sunday, Dr Wasim Piracha, who had
been associated with the field of geophysics for the last 20 years in
Copenhagen and Stolkhom, said Pakistan was located in a zone where
they have tectonism, subduction and plain area full of oil and gas
Sustained flow of phutti, from fields into ginners,
during the last fortnight (Nov 1 to 15) has brightened up the
prospects of harvesting a bumper crop for the second consecutive year.