Dec 04 -
IMF approves $596m loan
The IMF's board of governors on Wednesday approved
the long-awaited $596 million standby facility for Pakistan for the next
However, the board linked the release of the last
three tranches of the loan to the meeting of performance criteria on
major issues such as revenues, exports and foreign exchange reserves.
"The first upfront $200 million tranche is
likely to be shifted into the State Bank's account," Finance
Minister Shaukat Aziz told a news conference on Thursday.
For the approval of the remaining three installments,
he said, the board would meet in March, in May and later in September
next year. "There has been the problem of credibility that is why
we have to face regular monitoring of our economic situation by the Fund
officials for certain funding."
The minister hoped that the approval of the IMF
programme would pave the way for resumption of assistance by the WB, the
ADB, and restructuring of loans by the Paris Club.
The important thing, he pointed out, was that
Pakistan would start qualifying for loans from other foreign banking
sources and more importantly, he added, "we now expect flow of
In reply to a question, he said there were no
political conditionalities attached to the new loan under the Standby
Arrangement. "There is no non-economic conditionality in this 10-
month new programme with the IMF."
He claimed that all members of the IMF board had
supported the resumption of assistance to Pakistan except the United
States. "The US official in the board abstained because the law of
the United States does not permit funding to Pakistan under the present
The finance minister termed the approval of the loan
a milestone in the effort of the government to rebuild the economy.
ADB to provide $52 million
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to
provide $52 million mainly to help farm women living in rainy areas of
According to an announcement made on Wednesday by the
local ADB office, women will make up to 40 per cent of the beneficiaries
of a project to help farming families in rainy areas through $52 million
The project is a continuation of a previous project
completed in 2000. The new project will raise incomes by providing a
range of measures to increase agricultural productivity and by promoting
livelihood enterprises. It will also improve life for rural communities
through social services such as health and education by upgrading
village infrastructure, including irrigation, rural access, roads and
Altogether an estimated 830,000 people — 80 per
cent of whom subsist on 50 cents a day or less — are expected to gain
from the NWFP Barani Area Development Project.
Liquid forex reserves shoot up
The State Bank received on Thursday $192 million in
its account as the first tranche of a $596 million 10-month IMF standby
credit that raised liquid foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan to
"We have received 150 million SDR (special
drawing rights) or $192 million in our account," chief spokesman
for SBP told. The SBP received the amount in its New York account
immediately after the IMF board of executive directors approved in
Washington $596 million standby loan for Pakistan.
The inflow of the IMF money boosted foreign exchange
reserves to $1.336 billion on November 30 up from $1.129 billion about a
week ago. The amount also included $481.7 million private foreign
currency deposits of banks placed with the SBP as on November 30.
World Bank has expressed willingness to offer
additional funds for the implementation of tax reforms, said Finance
Minister Shaukat Aziz on Thursday.
"We have been told by vice-president Mieko
Nishimizu that her bank is interested in extending additional funds for
improving tax administration in Pakistan," he told reporters at a
Pakistan, he pointed out, had made a formal request
to the World Bank for additional funds for the financial restructuring
of the CBR. Unsure about the size of the funding, the minister stressed
that the WB's lending over the issue would be very important.
PSO cuts fuel oil price
Pakistan State Oil has decided to further reduce the
price of light sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) and high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO)
by Rs 972 per metric tons and Rs 152 per metric tons respectively.
Fecto Cement Limited presented accounts for the year
ended June 30, 2000, reporting after tax profit at Rs83.4 million on
sales valued at Rs1,208 million. Gross profit at Rs237.3 million, stood
almost twice of Rs118.6 million earned in 1999.
Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO) has declared a
dividend of 36 per cent, amounting to Rs778 million for the year ended
June 30, 2000 despite making substantial investments on its recently
completed mid-country refinery project.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), on
Tuesday announced 22.5 per cent cash dividend for the year ended June
Plastobag and first Paramount Modaraba has issued
Bonus Shares in the proportion of 15 shares for every 100 shares held
(15%). According to the results, gross profit of Rs 27.418 million
against Rs 48.413 million of previous year.
Shell Pakistan (SPL) has decided to increase the furnace oil prices
by Rs115 per metric ton to Rs12,552.25 pmt from Rs 12,437.25.