10 IPPs to start working by April
At least ten Independent Power Producers (IPPs) will start generation
of 2000MW power from April 2000.
The following IPPS will start operation: Uch Power, Roucsh, Fauji
Kabirwala, Northern Electric, Eashatech, Davis Energen, Japan Power, Saba Coastal, Saba
Shipyard Pakistan and Power generation Systems.
These power projects were issued permission letters in 1994 that mainly
focused on thermal power projects.
Water and Power Ministry sources said these projects were at the stage
of commissioning and expected to be operational shortly.
The government has issued Letters of Support (LoS) to some 34 private
power companies with a net capacity of 8,340MW power. Some 19 projects with an installed
capacity of 3,158MW achieved Financial Close and were further processed.
Joint venture to provide health insurance cover
ALLIANZ-EFU Health Insurance Co with a paid up capital of $6m, will
provide insurance cover including hospitalization facilities for individuals as well as
the groups and companies.
Initially, official sources said Thursday the company will restrict its
operations to Karachi and Lahore. The permission in this regard was given by the Economic
Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday.
Japan to provide Rs 57.7m for bio-tech plant
Japan government will provide Rs 57.7 million as a grant to the federal
agriculture ministry to undertake a project regarding application of biotechnology in
plant genetics resources in Pakistan.
Sources said the project also proposes to engage 6 Japanese experts for
training of 120 Pakistani farm experts in the fields of preservation, biochemical
evaluation, data management, etc. It will provide 60 month training to 10 Pakistani
scientists in Japan, purchase laboratory equipment, chemicals, books, journals, one
vehicle and provide operation expenses.
41 state units to be privatized in first phase
The ministry of industries and production has identified 41 state-owned
units to be privatized in the first phase shortly.
"I met the officials of the Privatization Commission on Wednesday
and handed over to them a list of 41 units of the ministry of industries and production to
be disinvested on priority", said the minister for commerce Abdul Razak Dawood.
He told reporters here on Wednesday that investment climate has
improved in Pakistan to attract foreign and local buyers for the privatization of State
Owned Enterprises (SOEs). "Both short and long-term plans are being finalized to have
an effective and speedy privatization of the state sector".
However, he pointed out that a decision has been taken "not"
to privatize Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) because of its various problems. He disclosed that
Mills' Balancing, Modernization and Replacement (BMR) was currently under study to make it
financially viable. The commerce minister, who is also the incharge of the ministry of
industries and production, said that there was a big problem of overstaffing in the
Pakistan Steel Mills. "Then of course the element of corruption is also a cause of
worry for everybody", he said adding that a comprehensive policy was being worked out
to make the Mills financially and administratively viable prior to its privatization.
He said that rightsizing and downsizing were being considered in the
Pakistan Steel Mills. "We are also looking into the issue of so many undue inductions
in the Mills", he said adding that he would soon be meeting the chairman of the Mills
to have all the details for bringing improvements in the organization.
To a question, Abdul Razak Dawood said that smaller units under the
ministry of industries and production were expected to be sold without any problem. He
said that many of the units will be privatized through stock market. He said mainly ghee
units, cement plants, chemical and fertilizer factories will be put up for sale.
Chinese firm to set up pesticides plant
The representatives of a Chinese company arrive here in the city on
Tuesday to explore the possibility of setting up a basic pesticides manufacturing plant in
the Punjab, provincial Board of Investment and Trade (BoIT) officials told on Monday.
The officials said China's Red Sun Group corporation has shown keen
interest in setting up a joint venture to produce basic (raw materials) for pesticides.
BoIT executive director Arshad A Khan said the Chinese company is very
much interested in bringing the technology to Pakistan to manufacture raw materials for
The size as well as the cost of putting up the plant will be worked out
after the Chinese investors decide to go ahead with the project, he said.
Sindh to harvest 3m tons of wheat
Wheat sowing in Sindh province has surpassed the target of 1,133,200
hectares, according to the field reports compiled by the agriculture extension department.
The figures collected from various districts upto January 15, indicate
that wheat has been cultivated on 1,144,495 hectares and the germination of the crop is
reported to be by and large satisfactory.
Oil, gas reserves discovered (Box)
Sizeable reserves of oil and gas have been found at Shakardara block in
the NWFP, said Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Usman Aminuddin here on
In an interview, he said "it is very important that oil and gas
reserves have been explored in the NWFP, because for the first time it has opened up
avenues for economic integration of tribal areas in the settled areas of Pakistan."
Currently, this well Chando-Iis producing about 1,200
barrels of oil and around 5 million cubic feet of gas while the second well
Chando-II is being spud in.